Shiny New Bikes Make a Difference in Children’s Lives.
Thirty Five children will be overjoyed this holiday season when they see shiny new bikes and helmets under their Christmas trees! For the third consecutive year The Bike Lane collected money to purchase $7000 worth of high quality safe Trek bikes for needy children. Local businesses such as Intelliware Systems and local cycling clubs including the Mid Atlantic Off Road Enthusiasts (MORE) also joined in the effort. “This has been a tough year on everyone financially, so we were concerned that we would not get many donations” says Anne Mader, co owner of The Bike Lane, in Burke and Reston, Virginia. “But people have been as generous as they can be and we are thrilled that we were able to donate so many bikes.”
This annual tradition was the idea of Holly Jackson, who worked for company that held an annual Toys for Tots drive every year. Jackson started to collect money from other employees to purchase bikes instead of toys. “A new bicycle is the epitome of a Christmas present for a child, and who doesn’t remember that special moment when you saw your first bike under the tree” says Jackson, who is an avid cyclist. The Bike Lane partnered with Jackson three years ago in an effort to get more donations to purchase more bikes. Other local cycling groups such as EX2 Adventures and Graceful Edge helped get the word out about the Bike Drive. As a result, The Bike Lane helps purchase the bikes at a discount and donates all of the proceeds to buying the bikes at cost and building them free of charge. Over the last three years, The Bike Lane, its customers, and partners have donated almost 100 bikes and helmets to Toys for Tots.
The bicycle is a part of childhood. “Being able to give a needy child a brand new bike is an amazing feeling, especially in this time when the obesity rate in children is on the rise. Giving the gift of a bike is not only a gift they will never forget but it also the gift of health” states Mader.
The Bike Lane donated the bikes on December 12, 2008 at the Reston Town Center in Reston, Virginia. The United States Marine Corps and local radio station MIX 107.3 were there collecting toys when Bike Lane volunteers rolled the bikes up. “Wow, I remember getting a bike just like that for Christmas!” said an excited onlooker commenting on a shiny pink bike with a white flowered basket and colorful streamers.