On December 17th, more than 70 volunteers gathered in the auditorium at Susan B. Anthony Elementary School to assemble 196 bicycles. The bicycles were then picked up by school teachers and administrators and brought to children’s homes throughout the Corona/Norco/Eastvale area.
The impetus for the event was sixth-grade teacher John White’s Capstone Project for a Teacher Leadership Certification Academy run by the Riverside County Office of Education. The goal of the project was to generate enough funds to purchase, assemble, and donate 155 bicycles to needy, but deserving children in the Corona/Norco Unified School District. By having a school official hand deliver the bicycle, the hope is to create a stronger bond between home and school for the recipient, and a corollary goal was to provide industrious teenagers with an opportunity to complete their school based community service requirements.
In July 2012, the project launched as a not-for-profit organization known as Bicycles for Children. Volunteers fundraised, held car washes, staffed booths at local events and received donations from local residents and businesses. Support from local businesses included: the Corona/Norco YMCA for fund administration; Huffy Bicycle Company provided bicycles at cost; Inland Empire Health Plan donated helmets to accompany the bicycles; Custom Imaging Inc. of Chino provided marketing materials; Lunarpages hosted the organization’s website; and Ryder Trucking and Leasing of Fontana provided a truck to deliver the bicycles from the warehouse to the assembly point—which saved enough funds to purchase an extra 10 bicycles.
Based on the overwhelming success of the project in 2012, Bicycles for Children will now continue as a permanent, volunteer-staffed organization with an ambitious goal of generating funds for 300 bicycles in 2013. This year, in addition to providing bicycles to students in the CNUSD, the group also aims to donate bicycles to the Boys & Girls Club, and organizations who work with at-risk children in the Corona, Norco, and Eastvale communities. To help raise funds, the organization seeks junior and senior high school students to participate as a way to complete their community service hours. Activities for the 2013 drive will include fundraising events at local restaurants, participating in community events, and reaching out to the community for private, organization, and business donations.
To donate, send tax-deductible donations to the YMCA. Attn: Bicycles for Children, 1331 River Rd., Corona, 92880. All funds received go directly to the purchase of bicycles. For further information, contact John White at (951) 378-4635 or email@example.com.