The Great Bike Giveaway is a program run by the Friendship Circle every February. The goal of the program is to provide children and young adults (under age 30) with adaptive bikes (which can be prohibitively expensive for many families). Here’s how it works:
1. The Great Bike Giveaway partners with the manufacturers of many adaptive bikes, and the manufacturers provide the bikes at a reduced cost.
2. Each child has a fundraising page on the GBG website, where people can make tax-deductible donations (to the Friendship Circle) and help children reach their fundraising goals. If a family reaches their goal, any additional money raised will be distributed to help other children reach their fundraising goals. (The organization also collects general donations that are distributed at the end of the donation period, and bike companies donate some bikes, so that families who have raised more than 50% of their goal still have a chance of receiving a bike.)
3. Kids get bikes and are able to join in riding with friends, siblings, etc J
If you are interested in signing your child up, the link is here: Great Bike Giveaway Registration (There are a number of different bikes available, so it’s worth speaking with your child’s physical therapist to determine which bike might be the best fit for them!)
If you are inspired by this program and would like to donate to help a family provide an adaptive bike at home, this link will take you to the list of fundraising pages (just scroll down to see them): Great Bike Giveaway
After a few years of watching this program, we’ve decided that the timing is right for Maya to get an adaptive bike. Will is quick, quick, quick on his scooter and he’ll be moving to a big kid bike this year. Maya has tried scooters and a regular bike (with training wheels), which worked for a little while (kind of)--but now she’s so tall! A typical adult-sized bike doesn’t provide her with enough stability to actually ride. She’s been using an adaptive bike at school (during gym and physical therapy), so I met with her physical therapist to check out the one she uses and to review the different options and sizes. We were happy to see that the largest size (which will last through adulthood—she won’t outgrow it) is a perfect fit for her! We’re excited for her to have an adaptive bike at home, so that she can have fun riding around at the playground and outside, just like her brother and neighborhood friends.
This is Maya riding a Rifton adaptive tricycle at school!
(image shows Maya in a school hallway, with blue lockers in the background. She is sitting on a large red tricycle, smiling and looking away from the camera, hands raised triumphantly)