Bikes for Kids
The "Bikes for Kids" mission outreach at First Presbyterian New Brighton Church began when I was walking my dog one spring evening two years ago. While on that walk I noticed one of my neighbors had left a kid's bike out for trash pickup the next morning. After looking it over I decided that there was very little that needed repaired other than some adjustments and cleaning. So, it made its way home with me. The next week, another neighbor also left out a bike for the trash. This was just too much of a coincidence and I began to think maybe God had a part in this. Thus, the idea for "Bikes for Kids" began. Before long two bikes turned into four and then eight. As a way to try to match these bikes to a needy child, Big Brothers/Big Sisters in New Brighton was contacted and our church was able to partner together to provide bicycles to children involved in their program.
Beginning early in 2019, this little bike program came to the attention of a faith-based organization called Communicycle. It began as a very small bicycle outreach mission in Aliquippa back in 2011. Since that time, they have grown and now have community partners throughout Beaver County including Ambridge, Midland and Beaver Falls. Lee Montanari, who heads the organization, reached out to me to see if First Presbyterian New Brighton would like to partner up and be the local contact for Communicycle's outreach efforts in our community. As a result of our conversations, I began volunteering (wrenching bikes) at their facility on 6th Ave. and 16th St. that once housed the Beaver County Rehabilitation Center here in New Brighton. I've met some great folks during this time and the resources they have to offer are wonderful. We recently held our first New Brighton community bike distribution event that provided over 40 bicycles to individuals ranging from ages 3 to 71.
I'm not sure where God will take our "little" church outreach next. I would like to find additional church partners in our community to come together and join our resources and talents so that one day we would be able to say, to borrow a phrase from Communicycle, "Every kid in My town has a bike." Pulling from Communicycle's experience and through prayer and meditation, I'm sure this can happen.
Volunteers, individuals and groups, are always needed. You don't have to have any mechanical skills; we'll teach you. I think this would be a wonderful opportunity for a parent and child to volunteer together. Please consider it and let me know if you are interested! You will be warmly welcomed. Also, check out Communicycle's web site link below. They can also be found on Facebook.