Greg Nowik, co-founder of Bikes for Kids, loads a children’s bike into his truck outside of Canadian Tire on Friday, Oct. 26. The bike was one of 28 that were donated to the Bikes for Kids program. (Nicholas Pescod/NEWS BULLETIN)

Bikes for Kids receives numerous donations following theft

Group has received more than two dozen bikes since Thanksgiving weekend

A program that provides bikes to less fortunate people in Nanaimo has plenty of new wheels these days.

Greg Nowik and Eddie Goncalves, co-founders of Bikes for Kids, a program that provides donated bikes to adults and children who cannot afford to purchase their own bike, told the News Bulletin that 28 brand-new bikes and 18 used bikes have been donated to them since a theft occurred at their warehouse in mid-October.

“The community has really come to the party. It has really been amazing,” Nowik said.

Around Thanksgiving, Nowik and Goncalves discovered that 40 bikes had been stolen from the Bikes for Kids warehouse in Nanaimo. Although they originally believed 20-30 bikes were missing, the number was much higher.

“The 40 bikes we had were good bikes,” Nowik said.

Last Friday, Nowik and picked up the 28 bikes from Canadian Tire, which donated two brand-new bikes to the program as well and have been supporting Bikes for Kids since it began.

Fred Alteen, general manager of Canadian Tire, said he’s happy to support the program.

“We’ve been helping [Bikes for Kids] with locks and helmets and stuff like that,” he said, adding that the program does a tremendous amount for the community.

Bikes for Kids was started nearly three years ago by Nowik and Goncalves, who wanted to do something positive for the city. The program has a partnership with the Nanaimo RCMP and Arrowsmith Bikes, which repairs any donated bikes that need to be fixed.

“People think we are a non-profit organization, but we are actually just a mortgage company that is trying to give back to the community,” Nowik said.

Instead of accepting monetary donations, Bikes for Kids asks people to buy new kids’ bikes from Canadian Tire, which then get donated to the program and ultimately to children who needs a new bike.

Since news broke of the recent theft, Nowik said Bikes for Kids continue to receive donations from members of the community as well as people from the Lower Mainland and beyond. He said they’ve also received plenty of inquiries from people looking to donate or help out in some fashion.

“It’s just heart-warming,” Nowik said. “It’s really nice to see the community come forward.”

For more information about the program, please call 604-290-3779.



nicholas.pescod@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Shopping resumes aboard Nanaimo ferry sailings

B.C. Ferries to reopen gift shops on Queen of Cowichan and Queen of Oak Bay

City of Nanaimo reports on its salaries, expenses and payments

Municipality files statement of financial information with B.C. government

City of Nanaimo challenges families to Instagram their park explorations

ParkIt challenge set up to offer prizes to cap off days at the park

Nanaimo RCMP want speeding motorists to ‘slow the blazes down’

Police raise alarm after seeing 400-per cent rise in excessive speeding tickets last month

Top central Vancouver Island health official retires

Island Health says Dr. Paul Hasselback’s replacement to be named shortly

Horgan says B.C. restart making gains as more people come out of their homes

B.C. announced the easing of more restrictions on businesses, recreation and travel last month

Conservatives say police should be called into investigate WE charity scandal

Trudeau is already under investigation by the ethics commissioner for potential conflict of interest

Amber Alert continues for missing Quebec girls, 6 and 11, and their father

Police issued the alert for Norah Carpentier, 11, and Romy Carpentier, 6, from Levis, Que.

Limit police access to lethal weapons in Indigenous communities: Justice Summit

Grassroots-organized National Indigenous Justice Summit was a free-to-attend two-day videoconference

Campaign aims to raise $50K for young family of deceased Vancouver Island skydiver

James Smith, 34, died July 5 following incident in Nanoose Bay

Survey, hotline launched amid probe into racist blood-alcohol guessing game at B.C. hospital

Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond has been appointed to lead an investigation by Health Minister Adrian Dix

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

B.C. ports part of data integration project to protect marine ecosystems

The $1.2 M federally funded program will draw crucial baseline data from Canada’s three coastlines

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Most Read