Bikes for tykes


The House of Friendship can only exist with the support and assistance of a multitude of volunteers.  If you are a regular reader of our blog, you have met many of them so far, but today I wanted to introduce someone who volunteers in a different way.  His name is Gerald.

A few years ago Gerald called me up and pitched an idea to distribute refurbished children’s bikes at the Emergency Food Hamper Program.  Gerald has a bike shop at 725 King Street North in Waterloo and is a strong believer in everyone doing a little bit to make the world a better place.

He found it hard as a single parent to get things like bikes for his kids, and now that they have grown up, he wanted to ensure that others didn’t have the same experience he did.

For his bike shop, he was frequently was at the regional landfill, looking for unwanted bikes to refurbish and saw that there was always a lot of unclaimed children’s bikes that were getting melted down as scrap.  He talked to the Region of Waterloo and they agreed to give him the kids bikes so he could fix them.

So, the Bikes for Tykes program was born.  Throughout the summer, Gerald will fix up as many children’s bikes as he is able to and donate them to our program once he has about 15-20.  One of our drivers will pick them up and then we will set them out in the bike racks we have in our parking lot and families will help themselves.

The families who take the bikes are always very thankful and there is much joy as children pick out the bike they want.  There is a lot of pride on their faces and we know that once they outgrow them, they will be passed on to a sibling or a neighbour to be cherished for as long as the summer lasts.

This week, we were both invited to talk about the program on Roger’s TV.  You can see us both, slightly nervous, sharing our experiences here:

So what can you do to help?  You can visit Gerald in person at 725 King Street North in Waterloo or on the web here to donate an old unwanted bike or to buy a used or reconditioned bike to support this great cause.

Thank you Gerald!  Your work has made a lot of people very happy!

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