Terry Hearn, left, executive director of the United Way of Colchester, and Darcy MacCallum, administrative co-ordinator, show off two of the bikes the organization has already received for its Bikes for Kids program. The organization is once again collecting the gently used bikes, which will be tuned up and given away to children in need this summer. Raissa Tetanish – Truro Daily News
TRURO – With items for spring clean up lining the sides of the road, one local organization is hoping bicycles will be donated to them instead.
“There are families and children out there that can’t afford a bike,” said Terry Hearn, executive director for the United Way of Colchester County. “Our Bikes for Kids program is a way for children to receive a bike, giving them opportunities for physical activity and even transportation.”
This is the 14th year for the program, which sees gently used bikes donated, cleaned and tuned up, and then distributed back into the community. Last year, 70 local youth benefited through the program with bicycles, a number that increased from 45 the previous year.
“For a child to be having fun, be included with their friends and be able to take off on a bike, it’s important to their health and well-being,” Hearn said.
Anyone with a gently used bike they want to donate to the program can call 895-9313 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements for drop off. If anyone wants to contribute to the program but doesn’t have a bike to donate, financial donations are always accepted by contacting the office or visiting the organization’s online gift catalogue at www.colchester.unitedway.ca/gift-catalog. Donations of new helmets are also accepted.
Along with the bicycles, the United Way is seeking volunteers to help tune up the donated bikes and anyone interested can contact the office by the methods listed above.
Bikes will be distributed at a later date and application forms for children needing a bike will soon be available.
“I have seen some of the testimonials from families about the Bikes for Kids program and they are really appreciative and thankful, because without this program, their children might not have a bike,” said the executive director.