What could a bike mean to child? It could mean many things: Freedom! Pride of ownership! Fun! Racing! Being outside! Now try to answer that question coming from the point of view of a needy inner-city child and you get some powerful answers. Kimberlee’s Bikes for Kids recently asked children in the San Diego National City Boys and Girls Club to write an essay about what they would do if they won a new bicycle. You can click here to read a few of the answers from their 2009 giveaway in which they gave out 150 new bikes and helmets–this year they gave away 400!
Not only has Kimberlee’s Bikes for Kids given bikes to 400 kids to ride around this summer, it’s given them an escape from their “fences”.Â Click ‘more’ to read the press release from the event and to find out how you can help Kimberlee’s Bikes for Kids fulfill a few more dreamsÂ (…and would someone please get Matthew into a cycling program!)
Press Release:Â (San Diego, Calif.) On June 5th, 400 children walked away from the National City Boys and Girls Club with not only free bicycles, helmets and locks, but with smiles that could last a lifetime.
“It was a super event,” says Dan Gindling, President of Kimberlee’s Bikes for Kids. “Last year we awarded 150 bikes, this year, 400. More children riding bicycles is a good thing. I think Kimberlee would be very happy.”
Kimberlee’s Bikes for Kids was established to honor Kimberlee Caledonia, a talented and avid cyclist who died of brain cancer in 2008.
“We had great volunteers who did everything from fitting helmets to teaching the kids how to ride,” says Gindling. “We hope to expand to 1,000 bikes next year, which means we will need to raise $50,000. I’m confident we can do it.”
Weeks before the event, the children were given the essay question: “What would you do with a new bicycle?” Their answers were graded with the winning children awarded a certificate good for a free bike, helmet, and lock. (Those kids who were deemed deserving a bike received a certificate no matter their essay answer.)
The event began with a bike build on Thursday afternoon as part of a company team building exercise for IKON Office Solutions, a Ricoh company. Over 40 IKON employees assembled 300 bikes in three hours. Then on Friday night, 50 volunteers (many from the San Diego cycling community) assembled the remaining 100 bicycles, quality-controlled all 400 bikes and inflated 800 tires.
“We were happy we could help put so many smiles on children’s faces,” says Theresa Davis, Area Director for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater San Diego. “It was a real special day.”
Says Gindling, who was also Kimberlee’s husband: “Photos, a video, and a selection of the essay answers will be up on the website soon (www.kimsbikes.org).”
For those wishing to get involved with Kimberlee’s Bikes for Kids, through sponsorship or donation, please click here to get in touch via e-mail.
About Kimberlee’s Bikes for Kids
Established to honor Kimberlee Caledonia, a talented and avid cyclist from San Diego who died of brain cancer in 2008, Kimberlee’s Bikes for Kids, a The 501 (c) (3) organization, distributes free bicycles, helmets and locks to underprivileged school children. For more information, go towww.kimsbikes.org.