Program aims to allow every child joy of having a bike

Adam MacInnis
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In the basement of the MacGillivray Injury and Insurance Law building in downtown New Glasgow, wheels are spinning on a Monday night as volunteers work to repair dozens of bikes.

Adults can be seen working away with children watching closely and offering assistance where able.

Bikes for Kids is a program organized by Pictou County United Way. Volunteers take donated bikes and fix them up for use by other youth.

Robert McMillan said he has been volunteering for about five or six years.

“I wanted to learn how to fix my own bike,” he explained as his reason for volunteering at first. But after he saw the work they did, he was hooked.

Emily Newcombe who returned as this year’s co-ordinator said it’s really exciting to see the reaction of kids when they are given a bike. She’s often received hugs from excited youth.

“Best day ever!” one kid shouted this year when she got her bike.

“It’s probably the best part,” she said.

 With each bike, a new helmet is given away to help keep the child safe. 

“The goal of this program is simple,” says Jessica Smith, United Way’s executive director, “We want to give every child in our community the fun and freedom of riding a bike.”

Longtime supporters of the program, Pictou County Y’s Men and UCT Pictonian Council 879, have recently donated to the program to help purchase bicycle parts and supplies.  

Volunteers are always needed to help repair and clean the bikes. Those who don’t know how to fix a bike can be trained. Along with volunteers, the group is also in need of gently used bicycles to recycle.

Around 100 bikes were repaired and given out last year and they are hoping to have similar numbers this year.

If you have a bike to donate, need a bike, or want to volunteer to help repair the bikes, contact Emily at 755-1754 or bikes@pictoucountyunitedway.ca.  More information on the program can also be found on the Bikes for Kids Facebook page, which is updated regularly.

 

amacinnis@ngnews.ca

On Twitter: NGNewsAdam

Organizations: United Way, Men and UCT Pictonian Council

Geographic location: Pictou County

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