Bike Collection: April 27th, 10am to 2pm behind the New Hartford Shopping Center.
Other drop-off sites: Deerfield Fire House, Whitesboro Legion, Whitesboro Police Department, Parkway Recreation Center, 40 & 8 Club.
9th Annual Build-A-Bike: Saturday, May 31st, 2014. 10am until all bikes are gone.
For more information: 315-735-1345
Learning how to ride a bike. For many it's a fond child-hood memory. But for others, bikes simply cost too much. Now a local group is trying to change that by giving them away. Last year, the organization called "Build-A-Bike," gave away more than nine-hundred bikes. These bikes mean more than transportation, but are steering kids in a positive direction.
The sheer thrill of riding a bike. It's an experience not all parents can give their children.
"They wish they could give their child a new bike from Wal-Mart but they can't so with this program we give them new bikes and it's like Christmas and Easter and their birthday all over again," said Jada Wilson.
Build-A-Bike is gearing up for it's annual give-away.
"We collect year-round, we work on the bikes year round, and then we give them away on the day of the event," said Jeremy Butler, of Utica Safe Schools and Build-A-Bike.
9 years ago just 30 bikes given away--last year, nearly one-thousand. But they need donations to make this year a success. You don't need to donate new or even functional bikes, you can also donate bike parts or broken ones. But the give-away isn't just about material possessions.
"For a lot of kids it's that freedom, it's their way to socialize with their friends, it's a way for them to get out and be physically fit, it's a way of them staying connected and being motivated to do something in their community," said Butler.
Jada knows about that first-hand, she was a bike recipient and now volunteers each year.
"You can get so much out of this program, if you don't want to spend hundreds of dollars on a bike this is a great program for you," she said.
And she's not the only one--about 100 volunteers work each year--many of them youth, who are paying it forward.