Each December, about 400 kids and their families come to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center for an early present –– a free bike from the Community Cycling Center’s Holiday Bike Drive.
"To many, the Holiday Bike Drive looks like the day in which over 400 children get a bike, "says Kasandra Griffin, Community Cycling Center's executive director. "But for me, the Holiday Bike Drive is the first day of a lifelong relationship with bicycles for over 400 children. It is a big, beautiful idea, and I can't stop smiling."
The Holiday Bike Drive has given away more than 10,000 bikes in the over two decades of the event. The kids receive a series of bike safety lessons before choosing their first bike. The drive is for kids ages 3-8 who qualify for free or reduced lunch at public school who don't currently have a bike. The group works with partner agencies to register children each fall.
Legacy Health does more than just host the event. Legacy donates helmets and provides volunteers who fit the helmets for safety. Other Legacy volunteer interpreters — speaking Spanish, Vietnamese and Russian — help make the event welcoming for all.
Each year, Legacy Health provides more than 5,000 helmets for children and adults who bike, skateboard or snowboard, at low or no cost, based on need. We also hold regular helmet clinics where we sell helmets, adjust the fit and demonstrate how to wear them properly. Legacy is able to offer free and reduced price safety helmets thanks to generous philanthropic support from the community.
In 2017, you can support the Community Cycling Center’s Holiday Bike Drive at Salt & Straw. Rep. Earl Blumenauer teamed up with the talented folks at Salt & Straw to create a fruitcake ice cream, proceeds of which will benefit the Community Cycling Center.
If you'd like to further support the Community Cycling Center program, you can find more information at the organization's website. You can also donate bikes at the bike shop at 1700 N.E. Alberta St.