Just as they outgrow shoes and clothes, kids outgrow bikes.
In fact, more than eight million bikes are outgrown every year.
What was once their perfect activity companion is now out sized, with nowhere to go.
Free Bikes 4 Kidz has found a new home for those bikes, offering them to the under served kids of Atlanta. They give the bikes away during the holiday season, as they say that “every kid deserves a ‘bike Christmas.’”
The nonprofit’s mission is geared toward helping all kids ride into a happier, healthier childhood by providing bikes to those most in need.
Bikes are donated to the organization, who then partners with local groups to identify children who will benefit from them. They ask for gently-used bikes, which are then cleaned up and refurbished for the new owner.
Volunteers and bike mechanics alike take part to get the bikes ready to giveaway. The process is streamlined in the organization’s warehouse, which includes areas to make sure the bikes are safe and ready to ride.
In the organization’s first year, they collected 300 bikes. Last year, they brought in 350, and this year they hope to have 730 bikes.
Free Bikes 4 Kidz, though, isn’t just an organization that hands out free bikes to anyone. They work with local partners to identify kids in need and match their collected bike to child who can use it. Each child also receives a bike helmet, and the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition takes part in the giveaway day to teach bike safety.
The bulk collection day for the organization is October 13, 2018. Donors can bring bikes to the warehouse or a variety of drop-off sites around Atlanta. “If you have a bike, then you can easily get your bike to a place that is close to you,” said Stephen Wolfe, Executive Director for the nonprofit.
Volunteers have multiple opportunities to help the organization, including on the October 13th collection day, where Free Bikes 4 Kidz say they especially look for smaller bikes and tricycles. Volunteers can also help between October 13th through December 8th, where the bulk of the “bike prepping” will take place. The big giveaway day takes place on December 8th, and volunteers are needed to provide that special moment for kids.
Goodwill’s Trenise Lyons volunteers with the organization, and said this giveaway day is an emotional one. “If you get a chance, going and seeing that bike giveaway even is pretty special,” Trenise said. “Especially if you have memories of having a bike when you were young, and you have to realize that some kids don’t.”
To learn more about the organization, including how to volunteer or support, go to www.fb4katl.org.