Bike giveaway helps needy kids
Most people are familiar with the phrase by Megan Davis, “it takes a village to raise a child,” but unaware there is more to the quote.
“It takes a village to raise a child, and I choose to be an actively participating member of my village.”
The quote became a reality through many local community members, organizations, and businesses, with the Green N Yellow (GNY) organization steering the way to a future of hope and support for many children.
Locals gathered for a barbecue and gave 50 bicycles to children in need on Saturday at Legacy Park. Tracy Rogerson, one of the nominators, shared her experience meeting two refugee families from Ukraine through a mutual friend and how she was able to nominate these families’ children to receive new bikes.
“These families have been living in the Ukraine for over a year without electricity, and so they had a really tough time,” Rogerson said. “They moved into their own place, didn't have much, so I gave them what I could to try to start them off.”
Rogerson said she knows the founder and president of GNY, Mike Gervais, so when she heard about the event with the Green N Yellow Group, she asked him if he could help the families.
“This year, we're giving away 50 brand new bicycles to 50 amazing children, along with brand new helmets,” Gervais said. “There's some children that don't know they're getting a bicycle, so that's really exciting for us.’
GNY thanked APC industrial that provided about 37 volunteers who helped raise money through a bottle drive for more than two months. The Exodus program had 24 men volunteering, as well.
Thea Gidyk, one of the mothers whose children received a bike, emotionally expressed her gratitude to the community that came together through GNY to donate the bicycles.
“I am so overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of this community of people who have absolutely embraced my family and I through kind of a difficult time,” Gidyk said. “I'm overwhelmed by their love and support and the generosity, it's just incredible.”
Anyone interested in donating can email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 403-795-4920 for more information. GNY treasurer Sandi Gervais said the impact on the children is significant, and could influence them to give back to the community when they are older.
“You know, some of these kids have never had a brand-new bicycle before,” Gervais said. “There's some that are from Ukraine that have had no toys basically over the last while…and so, I feel like they'll probably remember this, and as they go on in their years as an adult, maybe they'll give back to the community.
Gervais pointed out this will be the last year GNY sends out private invitations to the bike giveaway event, and next year there will be an open invitation for the community to attend.
Steffanie Costigan, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Lethbridge Herald