Bikes for Kids in East County
By Melinda Musser, Communications & Marketing Manager
What a weekend! For the first time ever, the Community Cycling Center offered a Bikes for Kids event in East Multnomah County, an area with a significant lack of bicycling resources. Last Saturday, 94 children went home with bicycles, helmets, safety education, and family resources at the new Rockwood Boys and Girls Club. The event was made possible thanks to the generous donation of 100 bicycles from Portland Fire & Rescue’s Toy N Joy Makers in honor of their 100th anniversary.
Known for our annual Holiday Bike Drive in December, we expanded our summer programming so that children can experience the joy of bicycles during the prime biking season. Bikes for Kids events also allow us to go directly to the neighborhoods where kids need bikes the most. For many families in East County, weather and transportation barriers can prevent them from attending our winter time event.
“The excitement for the 90+ children receiving bikes was contagious,” notes Zoe Piliafas, Director of Programming. “There are so many children and families in East County that deserve an opportunity to have access to bicycles and equitable transportation. On Saturday, we were able to begin filling that need and bring smiles to the faces of so many kids.”
Larry Kotan, a long-time volunteer at Community Cycling Center, shared why this event is so meaningful. “I’m also involved in something called the East Portland Action Plan, which is a great connection here. I’m really excited that you guys are out here in East Portland because I’m advocating for East Portland all the time. As we all know, as the city has gentrified and changed, a lot of the need that was previously close-in to downtown has migrated this way. So it’s really important that you guys are out here to help address that need.”
In addition to bicycle resources, parents and guardians of the children had the opportunity to receive information on helpful family resources like food, clothing, transportation, transition services, and more from Rockwood CDC, Multnomah County, SNAP, Girls Inc., 211, and others.
Check out photos from the Bikes for Kids event below from our fabulous volunteer photographers Ben Latterell and Charles Edelson:
More photos from the event can be found on our Flickr page.
The Community Cycling Center would like to thank Coon Family Foundation, Toy & Joy Makers, and Metro for sponsoring this Bikes for Kids event. Special thanks to Trauma Nurses Talk Tough for providing the helmets for kids to navigate the streets safely with their new bikes.
We also want to give a huge shout out to the 64 volunteers who supported this event. Without you, our work would not be possible.