Good boys and girls may be riding into the New Year on a new bike, as several programs around the US have been designed to help put needy children on two wheels.
This year Schwinn Bicycles have introduced a Bells for Bikes campaign to help provide 500 bikes to local Boys & Girls Clubs across America.
From the SchwinnBellChoir.com website, visitors can listen to holiday classics including Deck the Halls, and Auld Lang Syne and help spread holiday cheer. For every song shared until 25 December, a dollar will be contributed to the purchase of a bike and helmet.
Schwinn have also presented bikes to Florida resident Mike Jones, who has been credited with saving the lives of Bay District School board members after a gunman opened fire at a public meeting.
Jones is a former police officer and former school board member, and for the past 27 years he’s also worked as Salvage Santa, spending hours and personal resources collecting used and damaged bikes. This year Schwinn provided 500 additional bikes, which will be distributed with the 137 bikes that Jones prepared for the Glenwood Community Center this week.
“Schwinn are passionate about getting kids on bikes,” said Jessica Antle, the company's vice president of global public relations and advocacy. “When you give a kid a bike, you open up a world of opportunity for them. We were thrilled to be able to give away more than 1,000 bikes to kids this holiday season.”
Some 500 children in western Michigan will enjoy new bikes thanks to Tender Ridge Angus Beef and the Salvation Army. “All year, Tender Ridge Angus beef has been celebrating Acts of Tenderness in Michigan,” said Jennifer Cox, the company's associate brand manager. “We’ve recognized local volunteers and organizations for their community outreach, and they were an inspiration to us.
"We also wanted to give back through a tender act of our own, so our team at Tender Ridge Angus beef and Spartan Stores donated $20,000 to purchase bikes for kids this holiday. The freedom and joy of a bike is one of those quintessential childhood experiences everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy.”
Deep in the heart of Texas, retailers Academy Sports + Outdoors showed they had a big heart as well, with their ninth annual youth bike donation program, held on 1 December. For nearly a decade the company have made annual donations to local schools, and this year they provided bikes 30 bikes and helmets at more than 50 events – a total of 1,800 bikes and helmets. The new equipment was doled out based on academic achievement and in-class behavior.