Bikes, helmets donated to kids at Reedville Elementary
When first- and second-graders arrived at Reedville Elementary School on Friday morning, Sept. 6, they probably had no idea they would each be taking home a bicycle and safety helmet.
The children's bicycles, assembled by community members during a "bike build" at a Beaverton taphouse, were donated to students at the school as part of a philanthropic partnership.
Craft Pour House, located at 16055 S.W. Regatta Lane in Beaverton's Five Oaks neighborhood, hosted the community build Thursday evening, Sept. 5, in partnership with Can'd Aid Foundation, a Colorado-based nonprofit group that provides bicycles, skateboards and helmets to children in need. Participants were joined by Jeff Lenosky, a professional mountain biker from New Jersey.
"It was great," said Lenosky, who has teamed up with Can'd Aid on community bike builds and donations in the past. "We had a lot of members of the local cycling community come out, which always helps. That's something that we've been trying to do a little more."
Diana Ralston, executive director of Can'd Aid, said everything came together nicely for what was her organization's first event of this type in the Portland area. Craft Pour House stepped up to provide a venue, and Can'd Aid found an ideal donation site in Reedville Elementary — which is a Title 1 school, meaning at least four in 10 students come from what are considered to be low-income households.
"The whole point of doing these community builds is inviting the community out to help us build the bicycles, and then we try to donate them to a school that's really close by," Ralston explained.
The 75 children's bicycles were taken to Reedville Elementary the next morning and presented to students at an assembly.
"It was quite a surprise when we let them know that the bikes that were presented in front of them were theirs, and they were going to get to take one home," Lenosky said. "They were super-excited."
"The looks on their faces were priceless," said Berta Lule, principal of Reedville Elementary. "Many of them talked excitedly about wanting to share the bicycle with their siblings, in a true spirit of kindness."
Beth Graser, Hillsboro School District spokeswoman, noted that Reedville students "are among our district's neediest."
"For many of them, a new bicycle of helmet may be out of the realm of possibility," Graser said.
She remarked, "Any time we receive a donation like that, we're extremely grateful and appreciative."
Lenosky provided safety information for students and helped fit them with their safety helmets.
Ralston said Can'd Aid makes sure to include safety helmets when it donates bikes or skateboards in a community. In Oregon, it is illegal for children to ride a bicycle without wearing a helmet.
Can'd Aid sponsors bike builds like the one in Beaverton last week through its Treads + Trails program.
"All of us are very passionate about the outdoors, and about biking in particular," Ralston explained. "It's a nice way to get kids outside and being active."
For more information or to learn how to volunteer, visit the Can'd Aid Foundation's website.
By Mark Miller
Washington County Editor
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