For this Holiday season, the Boise Bicycle Project will celebrate their fifth-annual children’s bike giveaway. With more than 300 bikes to dole out, the event transforms the Lusk Street workshop into a kid-friendly day of joy. This year’s partnership with the Friends of Children and Families Head Start program will bring younger children, ages 4 to 6 years, to the shop, some for their very first bike.
“Last year, I think we ended up doing about 220 bikes or something like that,” said BBP executive director Jimmy Hallyburton. “This year our volunteer base is a little stronger,” he said.
Those volunteers have been working elf-like hours at the shop, with 30 to 50 people working every night for two straight months. To cater to this year's younger crowd, they’ve been busily installing more than 200 sets of training wheels to the little bikes, the gift of local donors.
The frames and materials were donated by the community over the course of the year. The recycled bicycles have been entirely re-fabbed and re-painted into like-new rides, perfect for a child in need.
“When we contact these kids, we try to get the kid’s name, height, age and favorite color,” said Hallyburton. From there, they create bikes that match the children. “Then we have a little spot for them to write a story and draw a picture of their bike.”
This year, the BBP and Head Start are bringing many Mexican children, necessitating a group of translators. Some of these English as a Second Language families will be traveling from Nampa, Caldwell and Meridian.
On Dec. 17, the kids will file in to pick up their new steeds. While the children love the bikes, the volunteers get something out of it, too.
“The actual day of the giveaway, these volunteers get to see their hard work come to fruition,” he said.