The Greater Naples YMCA, in partnership with Bikes for Tykes and Epilepsy Florida, hosted a free bike and helmet distribution for children and families on Saturday, May 9, 2020. The event was held at the Greater Naples YMCA on Pine Ridge Road.
The bicycle event was truly a community effort. YMCA staff coordinated the bike distribution with families from their Early Learning and After School programs and were onsite to greet the families as they arrived to pick up bikes. Epilepsy Florida provided bicycle helmets for everyone who received a bike. Bike for Tykes volunteers were on-site to make last-minute adjustments to ensure that each bike was adjusted so that each child could safely ride his or her new bicycle.
A total of 55 children from 38 local families attended the event. YMCA Interim CEO Joanna Rivera shared the YMCA’s passion for organizing this project. “As COVID-19 continues to keep families at home, the Y’s bicycle giveaway is promoting both healthy habits and is providing the opportunity for these families to spend more quality time together”.
Having a bike to ride can really help alleviate the stress that many people are feeling as a result of being isolated from family, friends, and schoolmates. Naples mom Lia Coronado shared, “We feel super happy and blessed. Both of my daughters received a bike that fits their personalities. Alana got a purple bike. which is her favorite color, and Ava got a pink bike, which is her favorite color. Alana is now learning how to ride her bike without training wheels. We are so thankful.”
The Lormestoire family could not agree more. Nadine Lormestoire’s children also participate in YMCA childcare programs and were invited to come to Saturday’s event. “The kids were so excited about getting bicycles that they woke me up early to make sure that we didn’t miss the event! To see the looks on their faces when they saw those bikes…They were so excited. They were even taught the importance of wearing a properly-fitted helmet, which was fitted for each of them by volunteers.” Lormestoire expressed how nice and helpful everyone was. The children previously had bicycles, but they were broken beyond repair, so getting new ones was welcomed.
More than 50 children received new or refurbished bikes that were previously collected during the YMCA’s Bike Drive last month.