Tag Archives: bikes

Kids Ride! Volunteers Connect Bikes with 200+ Nashville Youth.

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Hands On Nashville hosts Fourth ReCYCLE for Kids Giveaway supporting Metro Students

NASHVILLE, Tenn. –On Saturday, July 30, 200+ youth took home helmets, locks, odometers and “like-new” bicycles during Hands On Nashville’s fourth ReCYCLE for Kids presented by Jackson.

View more photos from this event.

This spring, Hands On Nashville volunteers donated and refurbished nearly 220 gently used bikes for Metro students and youth served by Metro Parks Community Centers. Saturday’s giveaway event at Coleman Park Community Center marked the culmination of a three-phase volunteer effort to support healthy youth lifestyle choices and access to community resources.073016_ReCYCLE Giveaway_WM-9

“Our summer and after-school programs are focused on keeping young people active to support healthy social and academic development,” said Coleman Center Facilities Manager Stevon Neloms. “Thanks to generous community volunteers, our kids now have another fun way to exercise and stay active here and at home.”

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During the event, volunteers helped recipients select bikes, fit riders for new helmets, and led them through a series of bike-safety activities.

“Exercise and education are true building blocks for student achievement, and we’re thrilled that many of our families now have these resources,” said Paragon Mills Principal Dr. Maria Austria. “Our community has rallied together to show our students they care.”

073016_ReCYCLE Giveaway_WM-8Community partnerships played a key role in the successes leading up to the event. In May, Metro Parks Community Centers and Middle Tennessee YMCAs served as bike collection sites. For the fourth consecutive year, the Oasis Center led refurbishment efforts at its Bike Workshop, where volunteers cleaned bikes, replaced chains, repaired seats and more.

073016_ReCYCLE Giveaway_WM-17.jpg“At the Oasis Bike Workshop, teens learn about themselves and their communities through our bike building program,” said Oasis Bike Workshop Founder Dan Furbish. “Our hope is that today’s recipients develop a passion for biking now, and someday will join our program.”

073016_ReCYCLE Giveaway_WM-1Many ReCYCLE for Kids volunteers hailed from the Nashville business community, including Change Healthcare, Cummins, Regions and Ted Sanders Moving. Jackson celebrated its third year consecutive year as ReCYCLE’s presenting sponsor.

“One of Jackson’s core pillars is to enhance the lives of children in our community,” said Susannah Berry, corporate social responsibility specialist for Jackson. “Our team has truly united around ReCYCLE for kids, and its unique approach to empowering youth.”

Since its inception in 2012, ReCYCLE for Kids has made bike ownership a reality for nearly 1,000 youth living in underserved neighborhoods. The goal of the effort is to encourage the re-use and recycling of materials. Hands On Nashville plans to distribute remaining bikes to Nashville youth this summer.

 ReCYCLE for Kids is a testament to the value of creative community partnership and volunteerism,” said Hands On Nashville Interim Executive Director Lori Shinton, “This event is an uplifting example of what we can do as a community when we come together around a common goal.”

About Hands On Nashville

Hands On Nashville (HON) works to address critical issues facing the Middle Tennessee community through volunteer-centric programming. For more information, visit www.HON.org or call (615) 298-1108.

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115 bikes donated on #GivingTuesday!

Warmer weather and lots of wonderful people in Nashville made #GivingTuesday here at Hands On Nashville a glowing success. Thanks to everyone who came out to support this fun day. Special thanks to Dozen Bakery and Tennessee Cheesecake for providing treats, and Wannado for volunteering with us.

This donor brought by a whole truckload of bikes!
This donor brought by a whole truckload of bikes!

Hands On Nashville received 115 bikes during our #BikesAndBakedGoods bike drive on #GivingTuesday, bringing our total so far to 325 bikes (our goal is to reach 500 bikes by Dec. 20 – read more about how you can help here). All of these donations will support our ReCYCLE for Kids program presented by Jackson. Volunteers will restore the bikes to like-new condition with expert guidance from the Oasis Center’s Bike Workshop. Then in the spring, we’ll give them to 400 underserved youth along with new helmets and safety training.

During our #GivingTuesday bike drive, we heard all sorts of fun stories from donors as they parted ways with their wheels.

Instagram user BroccoliCupcake used the day (picture featured below) as a teaching moment with her two boys. She remarks, “The boys donated their bikes to Hands On Nashville today and were pretty excited to get brownies as a thank you.”

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One father took a “last photo” of his daughter’s bike before handing it over to us, and then sent his daughter – who just went off to college – the photo as a memento. He also picked up a few baked goods to ship to her in the mail.

Jerilyn told us about using her childhood bike at her first job on the paper route. The banana seat was just *so* comfortable.

Jerilyn drops off her childhood bike.
Jerilyn drops off her childhood bike.

Another donor came up with a pick-up truck piled high with over eight bikes he collected from his neighborhood. He saw a story on the news and was intent on helping out a good cause.

Thanks to everyone who donated their bikes or gave monetary donations to support ReCYCLE for Kids and Hands On Nashville. We absolutely love this community and are sincerely thankful for your giving hearts.

If you missed out on the designated day of giving, we’ve extended our collection. And yes, we still need your help. Up until December 20, we’re collecting new and used children’s bikes at the Hands On Nashville office, located at 37 Peabody Street, Suite 206 (in the downtown Trolley Barns), Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Go ahead and dust off those bikes sitting in your garage or basement – they could make a kid’s year, helping them enjoy the excitement of riding and exercising, just like you did as a child.

Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 3.21.43 PMOur goal is to collect 500 used children’s bikes, and with your help we will get there!

Don’t have a bike but still want to help? We’re also accepting monetary donations to help buy new helmets for the kids. $10 will buy one helmet. Help us keep their noggins safe!

> Click here to make a monetary donation. (Be sure to include the note “for bike helmets” in the Special Instructions field upon checkout.)

 > Click here to read more information about ReCYCLE for Kids.  

Look at all these bikes that will get a second life, thanks to YOU, Nashville!
Look at all these bikes that will get a second life, thanks to YOU, Nashville!

Give a bike to a kid in need.

By Adams Carroll, AmeriCorps VISTA Member, Urban Agriculture Program –

Today we’re announcing a new Hands On Nashville initiative called ReCYCLE for Kids Presented by Cummins! For the next two Saturdays, we’re holding bike drives to collect used kids’ bikes. Volunteers will refurbish them, and then in December we’re gifting them to kids who may not otherwise have the opportunity to own their own bike. Our goal is to collect 300 bikes. Will you join us? Check out this short video of a similar effort in Portland, Ore. that inspired Hands On Nashville’s ReCYCLE for Kids.

In this blog post, our own Adams Carroll reminisces about his early biking adventures, and paints a bigger picture for why this initiative matters to our community.

I remember the first time I rode a bike – who doesn’t? I was one of the last kids in my neighborhood to learn this essential childhood skill. I remember feeling left out when everybody else on the block would go out on some small adventure and I would be left behind… or running to catch up! I also remember being an overweight child, and the effects that this had on my self-confidence and interactions with my peers. Nevertheless, when I finally learned how to ride my bicycle, I wasn’t thinking about all of the great health benefits I was about to reap. I was too busy enjoying that unique feeling of freedom that you can only experience when you are 8 years old, coasting down a hill on a little bicycle with one speed and a coaster brake. And maybe some sweet baseball cards in your spokes. There should be a word for that feeling.

ReCYCLE for Kids Bike Drives:

Sat., Oct. 13, 10a-4p
Hands On Nashville office
37 Peabody Street

Sat., Oct. 20, 10a-4p
Oasis Center Bike Workshop
Youth Opportunity Center
1704 Charlotte Avenue

LEARN MORE:

:: HON.org/recyclebikes
:: Adams@hon.org
:: (615) 298-1108 Ext. 416

According to a 2010 Youth Risk Behavior Survey administered by the Metro Department of Health, nearly 18 percent of Metro Nashville Public Schools high school students are overweight, and an additional 15 percent of students are obese. Locally and nationally, these numbers have risen steadily as our diets have increased in fat and sugar content and our physical activity levels have dropped. As this generation of children matures, they will find themselves at a higher risk for preventable illnesses like diabetes and heart disease than any generation that has preceded them. If nothing is done to combat this trend, doctors from the National Institute of Health predict that today’s kids will be the first generation in American history to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.

As an adult, just as in childhood, I struggle to maintain a healthy weight. I’ll admit it: even though I understand the importance of maintaining a balanced diet, I love hot chicken and pizza. But since I started riding my bike again in 2004, I’ve noticed a drastic change in my health. I have more energy, sleep better, and am more productive at work. It’s rare that I take a sick day. And best of all, I get to be outside and be active at least twice a day. The health benefits of physical activity are real and measurable, and my waistline thanks me for that.

So if we want our kids to be healthy, how can we encourage them to be active? One way is to encourage kids to do something that they already enjoy. Riding a bicycle is one of the best kid-friendly forms of exercise because:

  • it is an activity that can be shared with friends and family
  • it is recommended by the Center for Disease Control and the Department of Health and Human Services
  • it is an activity that can be continued into adulthood, encouraging lifelong health benefits
  • it is awesome; kids love doing it

Okay, that all sounds good, but as with most health issues, it isn’t that easy. One issue, especially in our city, is that low-income communities tend to experience more environmental factors that increase the likelihood of childhood obesity. Whether this means a lack of access to fresh, nutritious food or fewer playgrounds and safe places to walk, the result is the same. Findings from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey show that low-income children are more likely to become overweight or obese. As they grow older, these health consequences can hold kids back as they try to get ahead. Sure, riding a bike is a great kid-friendly way to have fun and exercise, but many economically disadvantaged families are unable to justify the purchase of a bike. Tight family budgets, and the reality that a bike only has a useful life of 1-2 years for growing kids, are barriers.

For the past year, Hands On Nashville volunteers have worked with our Urban Agriculture Program to grow healthy foods for families in need at the HON Urban Farm. At our farm’s Youth Service Camp, kids being served by our nonprofits partners have learned about nutrition and the food system while practicing gardening techniques. And today, I’m happy to announce a new Hands On Nashville initiative that will give deserving kids a new tool in the fight against childhood obesity: a bicycle! Our new program, ReCYCLE for Kids Presented by Cummins, will use the power of volunteers to collect, refurbish, and gift bicycles to local kids in need.

This fall, in partnership with the Oasis Center, we will bring volunteers to the Oasis Bike Workshop to rebuild donated bikes to like-new condition. In December, more than 300 kids will join us at Rocketown for a day of bike safety education and a skills course to test their new knowledge. They will all go home with a helmet and the bicycle of their choosing. By the end of the day, there will be a lot of new first-time-I-rode-a-bike memories, and a lot more kids with access to a fun and healthy way to stay active.

YOU can help. If your child has outgrown their old bike, donate it to HON at one of our two upcoming bike drives. (Make sure to get your kid a sweet new bike at one of Nashville’s great local bike shops while you’re at it). If you don’t have a bike to donate, then help us spread the word! We want to get kids bikes out of the waste stream and back on the streets.

Do you have a fun first-bike memory you’d like to share?

A native Nashvillian, Adams Carroll serves as AmeriCorps VISTA Member for HON’s Urban Agriculture Program. He oversees the development of the Urban Farm Apprenticeship and Summer Youth Service Camp program. A bicycling enthusiast and dedicated bike commuter, Adams is a volunteer with Walk/Bike Nashville, the Oasis Center, and Free Bike Shop. His longest bike ride? 3,500 miles across 14 states.