Volunteers and Lee County Sheriff’s deputies joined forces to assemble bikes for fourth and fifth-graders in Southwest Florida. This event took place at the Miromar Outlets along Corkscrew Road in Estero.
The kids receiving those bikes had big smiles all over their faces. Not only were they excited about getting the new bikes but, there was a lesson on how to keep kids safe in their neighborhoods.
Thirty kids now have a new set of wheels. Chelsea Sarabia says he was surprised. “I’m surprised that they gave me a brand new bike, and I’m going to be riding it every single day,” Sarabia said.
Yahir Guerra was just excited to be there. “The bike was great,” said Guerra.
Their new bikes were built with love by members of the community and sponsors. Brad Isaac was one of those volunteers. “Bicycles can make a world of difference to a young child,” Isaac said.
These bikes make a world of difference for them, but it helps the kids’ families as well. Dr. Linda Cunning is the executive director of New Horizons. “Most of these children are the most at-risk in our community. And so to see them so happy and excited about these bikes, and remember it’s not just for fun though, it’s great. But this is also a necessity for many of them. They go to the store they go help their parents with things, and so this is a big deal,” said Dr. Cunning.
The fourth and fifth-graders at New Horizons of Southwest Florida learned about safety to go along with their new bicycles. “I got a helmet, I got a lock, and it was amazing,” said Guerra.
Students had their new bikes inspected after learning all of the rules of the road. Jodi Walborn teaches pedestrian and bike safety. “They want to make sure they are riding on the right with traffic. If they are riding on the sidewalks, they do want to make sure that they slow down and look for cars at every single driveway,” Walborn said.
The community wants to make sure these students are safe on their new wheels to explore and grow. “We need to have lights on our bikes, white lights on the front, red lights on the back. Make sure there’s one kid per bike, one seat per rider, and always, always wear their helmet,” said Walborn.
The students went through a safety course as well.
Each bike included a helmet and a bike lock. The bikes were delivered to their homes by Friday night.