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GSFF Bike Build Program Provides Nearly 400 Children’s Bike Donations

During this year’s GSF Foundation (GSFF) Bike Build events, associates built and donated nearly 400 new two-wheelers to local youth in their communities. Partnering with local nonprofits and schools, volunteers across nine GSFF Committees mentored underserved children in assembling their new bikes during the spring and summer season. All around the U.S. in communities where associates live and work, GSFF teams organized donations of helmets, locks, and other accessories to complement the newly built bikes that the kids received.

Collaborating with community partners that associates select and engage locally, each GSFF committee coordinates core Foundation programs like the Bike Build in a way that best meets the needs of children and families in their area. For example, associates from the Quality Custom Distribution (QCD) Denver location planned a bike-building event and donated 22 bikes through their partnership with HopeKids, an organization supporting families who have children with life-threatening medical conditions.

“One of the families that came was a single mother and daughter,” shared Brian Howell, former GSFF Denver Committee Chair and QCD Denver Transportation Manager; and current General Manager, QCD Dallas. “The daughter’s birthday was the next day, and the mother has been struggling to pay bills and simply survive. The bike that we as a team were able to donate and help her build was a way for her to receive a birthday gift during a very hard time. If we can provide just a little bit of hope in someone’s lives, I believe we can change the world!”

With the largest bike donation this year, the GSF Burleson Foundation in Texas built more than 150 two-wheelers for students who attend three elementary schools within the Alvarado Independent School District in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. GSF’s Conyers, Georgia team donated 27 bikes to kids at the Covington Family YMCA and hosted a family-friendly “bike rodeo” event, as detailed in this Rockdale Citizen news story. In Southern California, GSF volunteers from the City of Industry Manufacturing facility partnered the Brotherhood Crusade to donate 40 bikes during an event that generated several print and broadcast news stories, including this CBS News Los Angeles segment.

Volunteers from QCD Spokane, Washington provided 20 kids with newly built bikes through Stevens Elementary School’s reading program, while QCD Charlotte made a donation of 33 bikes benefitting kids at Boys & Girls Club of Cabarrus County. QCD Chicago West teamed up with the Romeoville Fire and Police Departments, City Works and the 85th U.S Army Reserve Support Command for its second annual GSFF Bike Build event. Coming up in September, QCD Hawaii plans to build bikes for more than 20 local children in need.

In an event recap story posted online by GSFF community partner, Big Brother Big Sisters of Orange County, the nonprofit highlights how the Foundation’s Bike Build program empowers youth by building a bike together. Quoted in the story, GSFF Programs and Development Manager Vanessa Hugon said, “Under the guidance of an adult mentor, each child gets to build their very own bike and takes it home along with a big boost of confidence and pride.” For the second consecutive year, Vanessa and the Irvine, California GSFF team volunteered to be a "big for the day,” guiding the assembly of 30 bikes with children on the waitlist for Orange County’s Big Brothers Big Sisters mentorship program. Additionally, Irvine GSFF volunteers invited officers from the Santa Ana Police Department to support the event with helmet fittings and giveaways set up at the end of a bike safety obstacle course for the kids to take their first ride on their new set of wheels.

Since the Foundation's inception in 2002, GSFF volunteers have donated over 9,200 bikes to children. As a core Foundation program, the Bike Build aims to provide school-aged children with the opportunity to learn about safety, while instilling fundamental life skills as volunteers coach them through building a bike. To a child in need, a bike represents freedom and helps develop their sense of adventure. These donations also enable children to make healthy choices through regular physical activity.

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