Clients of Nanaimo Youth Services Association can get pedalling after a donation of 40 bikes from the Bikes for Kids program.
Bikes for Kids involves The Nowik Team mortgage brokers, partners such as Coal City Cycles and the Nanaimo RCMP, and volunteers teaming up to collect bicycles.
The group made a special delivery to the youth services association’s Bastion Street headquarters on Thursday, March 10. Amy Worth, association development and communications director, said the donation will be a boon to clients, many of whom have been in foster care.
“A lot of the youths that we work with have barriers to gaining employment,” she said. “Quite typically transportation is one of the largest barriers that they experience and so for them, this is their mobility, this is their chance to get to and from work, to and from school, to be able to have the freedom that the rest of us have and maybe take for granted.”
Also making a delivery was the Nanaimo Brain Injury Society, which brought bike helmets through its Helmets for Kids initiative. Adrienne Bennest, education and community liaison, said the society is glad to assist.
“This is a really great cause that we like to support,” said Bennest.
Greg Nowik, co-organizer, said the COVID-19 pandemic has hampered the program, but things are beginning to pick up again.
“The big thing we’re looking for now is community support,” said Nowik. “If somebody has a bike and they want to drop it off for us, please give us a call at the office and we’d be happy to take them. My office looks like a bike storage facility right now. If we have anybody out there who wants to help with repairing bikes … that’s instrumental.”
The program has seen a total of 1,500 bikes donated, with 400 bikes anticipated to be delivered in 2022, said Nowik.
For more information about the program, contact Mel Huggins at at 250-758-5524 ext. 7, or go to www.nowikmortgage.ca/bikes-for-kids-community.