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Christmas comes early for hundreds of kids

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on December 11th, 2006 at 2:38 pm

CCC's Holiday Bike Drive
[Anxiously awaiting
her new bike.]

At Legacy Emanuel Hospital yesterday, weeks of hard work paid off when over 400 kids were cured of their longing for a new set of wheels. The Community Cycling Center's 11th annual Holiday Bike Drive was just what the doctor ordered.

This year, the kids not only got to pick out a new bike, they also learned how to ride it and stay safe while doing so.

Throughout the morning, waves of kids and their parents -- who were specially selected through partnering social service agencies -- got fitted for free helmets, picked out a new bike, and then went through a series of educational mini-clinics before setting off with their new wheels.

Each child got a "Passport to Ride," which was a card with a series of six tasks they had to complete before taking home their bike.

CCC's Holiday Bike Drive CCC's Holiday Bike Drive

At one of the safety stops, kids lined up for the bike safety version of "Pin the tail on the donkey." They were given bike lights that had velcro on them and then had to stick the light to the appropriate spot on a bike.

CCC's Holiday Bike Drive
[Thank-you cards will
be sent to donors.]

Every kid got a free helmet and learned how to make sure it fits. Manning the many boxes of helmets was Trauma nurse Mike Morrison. Mike is the man behind the helmet program administered by Trauma Nurses Talk Tough. He estimates that they give away (or sell for $5) about 10,000 helmets every year and says, "Injury prevention is my form of stress relief."

After they had completed all their safety stops, each child drew their bike on a thank-you card. The CCC plans to send these cards to people who donated bikes.

It was my first time at the Holiday Bike Drive and I was impressed, not just with the organization and skill of the volunteers and CCC staffers, but with the obvious and tangible impact this event had on the kids and their families.

CCC's Holiday Bike Drive CCC's Holiday Bike Drive

The CCC will hold another event up in Vancouver this weekend. If you need to restore your faith in the power of bicycles, you might want to head up and check it out.

[Don't miss the rest of my images in the Holiday Bike Drive photo gallery.]

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Comments
  • Ethan December 11, 2006 at 3:36 pm

    The CCC holiday bike drive/giveaway is a magical enterprise, and it looks like it's still getting better. Kudos on the passports and the thank-you cards.

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  • Gretchen December 11, 2006 at 3:54 pm

    I have volunteered on the holiday drive for years but couldn't make it this year :( They have always done those thank you drawing bike cards and the kids love to draw.

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  • Cheesus Christ December 11, 2006 at 5:04 pm

    Now this is what I like to read.
    Good job people!

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  • Thomas Ngo December 11, 2006 at 8:27 pm

    Heartwarming story! I especially love the photos!

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  • Jeff December 11, 2006 at 8:29 pm

    I've helped since 2002, it's the most rewarding volunteer work I've done in Portland. I alwsys find myself crying (tears of joy). All the happy kids riding their new bikes with helmets, parents running to keep up. The display with the velcro lights and bike accessories, was a real tear jerker this year TOTALLY AWESOME! Those kids and parents are so lucky to have the CCC and it's dedicated volunteers.
    If you find yourself with some spare time, the CCC are doing a holiday bike drive in Vancouver, next weekend. Come on down to the CCC (17th & Alberta) and help fix some bikes. It's a super cool bike thing to do for our community. Call First
    RIDE ON,
    JEFF

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  • Alison Hill December 12, 2006 at 4:20 pm

    This weekend's event was AMAZING! So many people came out to help. So many others have been helping for months to literally put it together. So many kids were smiling and happy that day. I am so thankful to all of you who pitched in to put the COMMUNITY in the Community Cycling Center.

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