Sep 25, 2015 1:02:30 AM
By THE SHIRT BOX
Many kids dream of being able to ride a bike and feel the wind in their hair as they watch houses whiz by. Bikes also give kids a special level of independence and mobility. However, many families across Metro Detroit can’t afford bikes, so their children miss out on a great childhood experience. That’s starting to change.
Recently, The Shirt Box, a premier men’s fashions store in Farmington Hills, and Walled Lake-based Kenny’s Lakes Area Auto Experts, hosted a one-day bike drive that collected 200 bikes for kids in need. Detroit-based Southwest Rides also supported the event.
The drive benefited Back Alley Bikes (BAB), a Detroit-based nonprofit community bike shop and resource center that focuses on youth development, sustainable practices, and community access. BAB provides cycling education and services to the community.
“We are thrilled to announce that, of the bikes collected, four were entirely new. We will be able to donate those to kids right away and hope to have many others fixed-up by Christmas so we can give them away for the holiday,” said Mari Anzicek, operations and communications manager, Back Alley Bikes. “Our team cannot thank The Shirt Box and Kenny’s Lakes Area Auto Experts enough for hosting this drive and are incredibly touched by the generosity of those who donated.”
The organization accepts donations of used bikes of any type, style, and conditions for its Earn a Bike program for kids ages 10 to 17. In this program, kids learn how to fix the bike, which they then keep. BAB repairs bikes for kids under 10 before the donation. Last year, almost 400 bikes were given to families or earned by youth.