I love freedom. Things that support freedom. Things that give, support, encourage self-sufficient FREEDOM at any age are winners for me and that’s what catches me to share the Bicycles for Children idea.
The holidays are unique, giving becomes prevalent and so many groups become active putting together giving projects; as someone looking for others doing good in my local community, my newsfeed has become a little overwhelmed with them. One I had heard of previously popped up on one of my local “city” FB pages and I coudn’t, not ask for more info about Bicycles for Children.
Started by John White, a teacher who worked in an impoverished community in Northern Virginia. He saw a lot of poverty during his in home visits and was saddened by how few toys his student had. 6 years ago, he was buying a bicycle for his daughter and he began thinking of the children he taught that weren’t able to afford a bicycle due to their parents income situation and Bicycles for Children was started.
Their first year, they donated 196 bicycles. In 6 years, they are at over 3000! WOW! 3000 children able to feel the wind in their hair, sun on their face and the freedom of finding a new adventure on a bicycle!! Going further, farther, faster!!! Clearly (if you read my skatekids post), I love the idea of children racing around, getting into a little shenanigans with their friends. The confidence of being off and figuring out things on your own as a child is something that builds character like no other.
I shared having to walk everywhere. With a single parent household, as many impoverish children in the US have, I had to step up and be there to help. I had to get to school then get home to be there for my younger siblings. I had to stop by the store for a dinner ingredient. I had to get to whatever sport I was in. I did all of this walking. Do you know how much easier my life would have been if I had wheels instead of walking back and forth everywhere?! Giving a child in an impoverished situation a bicycle is the first step to their independence and hope for getting out and finding a better outcome then the one they currently have. Giving them the tools early to succeed!! Yes, I’m well aware of the predators out there and there are kids that could use this tool for worse but I believe it’s human nature to strive for success, I think it’s part of our survival instincts, the more you foster this early, the stronger the childs foundation for the future is.
The consistency of the last few years shows, they developed a relationship with the YMCA, two doners are giving enough helmates to meet their 1000 donted bycicles, their media shows kids and adults out in droves assembleing bicycles, it’s so cool! SO, cool!