As Bikes for Kids has grown, our reach has lengthened as well. Complementing our main mission of providing bikes to children in need, we have also committed to those whose lives would be greatly improved by owning a bike.
Most of our donated bikes remain here in Connecticut, but sometimes we are in the position to collaborate with other groups and provide bikes to people in different locales. Following are some more recent donations.
A total of 339 bikes and helmets were sent for the Race4Chase kids Triathalons over the last two years. These events are sponsored by CMAK (Chase Michael Anthony Kowalski) Sandy Hook Memorial Foundation which was created in memory of Chase Kowalski, the students and educators of the Sandy Hook tragedy.
In 2017 after Hurricane Harvey 372 bicycles and helmets were provided to the Houston, TX area where more than ½ million vehicles were destroyed by floodwaters. BFK was happy to provide bikes to help those who experienced a loss get back to “normal.” Getting to work on a bike is much easier and faster than on foot. We worked with Chester CT Rotary Club and recipients were identified by local Houston social service organizations.
Bikes for Kids sent 41 mountain bikes to a small village in Tanzania. Our bikes allowed the women of the village to travel to the river to wash clothes and to deliver sacks of maize several miles down a dirt road to be ground at a mill. This was a true-life changer as these bikes enabled them to return home in a reasonable amount of time, allowing for some leisure time at the end of their day for the first time in their lives.
Where Angels Play Foundation/Rwanda
Bill Lavin, retired Elizabeth, NJ firefighter, is the man responsible for building 26 playgrounds in Hurricane Sandy destroyed communities—each one to honor the memory of a teacher or student lost that day in Newtown, CT. Bill and his team built 2 more playgrounds in Rwanda. Bikes for Kids worked with the Foundation to provide 40 bikes to give away. This is a video of Bill telling the group, through an interpreter, that each one of them would receive a bike.
Ray used to walk an hour to work from his small apartment across town and then take another hour to walk back home again. With the bicycle that he received from BFK, he now makes the trip in fifteen minutes. Ray now has an extra hour and a half in saved time given back to him with which he can involve himself in other activities that were not possible before.
Joshua Center Shoreline School
Students from the Shoreline School come to The Wheelhouse weekly to learn basic bike repair skills while at the same time honing their social skills. The school’s goal is to increase confidence and competence so that the student can positively reengage in their communities, maintain connections they have made through social engagement and make pro-social connections with peers.
Local High Schools
Bikes for Kids offers opportunities for local high school students to fulfill their community service requirements. Whether it is repairing bikes or helping with collections or working on a special project, students can complete some of their required yearly service hours with us.