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)

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

The Nanaimo African Heritage Society is capping its month of Black History Month celebrations with a virtual gala on Sunday, Feb. 28. (News Bulletin photo)
Nanaimo African Heritage Society presents virtual Black History Month gala

Event to feature a variety of speakers and performers

(Black Press file)
Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools reports COVID-19 exposure at Cedar Elementary

School district says Island Health has completed contact tracing

(News Bulletin file)
RDN warns residents not to give financial info over phone

Resident hung up and called RDN after receiving call for credit card information

(Black Press file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Wexford Creek home in Nanaimo declared over

Social visits resume at south Nanaimo facility today, Feb. 27, says Island Health

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from the beach in rescue attempt in Nanaimo

Animal dies in spite of efforts of marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

1957 photo shows Six Mile House-sponsored #4 1932 Ford stock car with Frank Morris (from left), Ted Mackenzie, Bill Sim and driver Gerry Sylvester. (Bud Glover/Victoria Auto Racing Hall of Fame)
Memories race as Western Speedway approaches its finish line

‘It was life to us:’ Vancouver Island racers, crew will never forget what the track gave them

BC Ferries experienced heavy traffic on Feb. 27 following cancellations the day before due to strong winds and adverse weather. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries sailings fill up quickly after Friday cancellations due to high winds

Waits expected on Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen route, Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay route

Wayne Allen's graduation photo from Chemainus Secondary School. (Photo submitted)
Brother charged with murder in Vancouver Island teenager’s Ontario death

Jesse James Allen stands accused in the death of Wayne Allen, a 2020 Chemainus Secondary grad

Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools is preparing a rapid response team proposal for submission to the B.C. Ministry of Education. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo-Ladysmith school district chosen to field COVID-19 rapid response team

Team to consist of SD68 and Island Health staff, according to B.C. Ministry of Education

A 50-year-old man was stabbed in an altercation that started with a disagreement about physical distancing. (File photo)
Argument about physical distancing leads to stabbing in Nanaimo

Suspect arrested on Gabriola Island an hour after incident Wednesday, Feb. 24

Snuneymuxw artist Eliot White-Hill, Kwulasultun is among the artists participating in the Nanaimo Art Gallery’s Rain Shadow exhibit. His piece, ‘We Fell from the Sky/Together and Apart,’ depicts a Snuneymuxw creation story. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo Art Gallery exhibit explores the ways people think about place

‘Rain Shadow’ features work mostly by Vancouver Island and Gulf Island artists

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Most Read