Free Bikes 4 Kidz-Detroit needs donations now more than ever

Bikes 4 Kidz Detroit is hosting its 3rd annual bike collection on Saturday. Used bikes will be refurbished and donated to needy children as Christmas gifts.

COVID-19, step apart.

Detroit’s annual Free Bikes 4 Kidz occasion is on this weekend, and this system wants donations now greater than ever.

In opposition to the backdrop of a pandemic that has upended our lives, medical specialists say youngsters should be exterior staying energetic and wholesome, which is why bike donations are particularly wanted this yr. There’s additionally a worldwide bike scarcity as a result of extra folks eager to be exterior through the well being disaster, making this yr’s assortment particularly difficult.

So when you have some wheels to spare, here is what you’ll want to do.

On Saturday, bikes may be dropped off from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. at certainly one of 4 Henry Ford Medical Facilities and 5 Dwelling Depot shops. The used bicycles might be was vacation presents for teenagers because of the efforts of Henry Ford Well being System, Dwelling Depot and different organizations who’re teaming up this yr for the third annual bike assortment.

This year’s collection sites are: 

  • Henry Ford Medical Middle – Cottage, 131 Kercheval Ave., Grosse Pointe Farms
  • Henry Ford Medical Middle – Fairlane, 19401 Hubbard Drive, Dearborn
  • Henry Ford Medical Middle – Lakeside, 14500 Corridor Street, Sterling Heights
  • Henry Ford Medical Middle – Royal Oak, 26300 Woodward Ave., Royal Oak
  • Dwelling Depot shops in Northville, Farmington, Rochester Hills, Troy and Woodhaven will settle for bikes as properly.

Bikes will also be donated on to Free Bikes 4 Kidz warehouse at 411 Piquette in Detroit, till early December.

Neighborhood teams can maintain separate bike drives as properly.

“We all know that retaining children energetic will increase their possibilities of staying wholesome, and doing properly at school and in life. We additionally know that this yr is particularly difficult financially for a lot of households,” stated Paul Szilagyi, Henry Ford’s vice-president of main care and medical facilities. “Offering bikes on the holidays will make a giant distinction for fogeys, who work onerous to offer a particular present for his or her youngsters.”

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Every bike comes with a free helmet. 

The pandemic, nonetheless, has modified this yr’s assortment. 

The most important distinction is that the in-person giveaway has been deserted this yr with a view to keep away from the dangers of spreading COVID-19. As an alternative, this system will ship bikes out in bulk to organizations that request them for kids they serve.

Organizers additionally should comply with COVID-19 security tips as they put together the bikes for kids. This entails amassing the bikes, repairing them and operating them via security inspections earlier than they are often handed off to their new homeowners.

Regardless of the well being disaster, Free Bikes 4 Kidz native organizers stated they by no means thought of canceling. Slightly, as cofounder Bob Barnes stated, they carried out stringent security protocols to drag off this much-needed program for teenagers.

This yr’s assortment purpose is the identical as prior years: greater than 1,000 bikes.

 In 2018 and 2019 metro Detroiters generously donated 3,300 bikes.

The group has little question it will possibly do it once more.

“We really feel optimistic and decided. We hope individuals who bought new bikes could have outdated bikes they’re able to half with,” Barnes stated. “We’re doing our greatest to serve a group that has been onerous hit by the pandemic. All children deserve an opportunity to pedal right into a more healthy childhood with a motorcycle — and so they want it greater than ever in 2020.”

Tresa Baldas is an award-winning courts and authorized points reporter and was named the 2020 Richard Milliman ‘Michigan’ Journalist of the Yr by the Michigan Press Affiliation. Contact her at tbaldas@freepress.com. Or comply with her on Twitter @Tbaldas.