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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Bikes are Back 2010 UPDATE Dec 3 - From the mailbag

Dear Friends of the Bike Lady!

We’re steadily rolling towards the goal of $35,000 to put at least 500 kids who’ve suffered a history of neglect and abuse and are under the care of Franklin County Children Services (FCCS) on their very first bike this holiday season!

We just surpassed $22,000 which is fantastic in light of the economy and so many people struggling to make ends meet. A few donor stories…

·         From Afghanistan, Pat Brooks, formerly "Batman" with the C-Bus Police Department gang unit, who has been overseas the last 2 1/2 years, says he "loves kids and bikes". He’s married to Mo Armstrong Brooks , a super C-Bus NICU nurse who has seen newborns immediately placed under the care of FCCS start life passively addicted to opiates and other drugs...they took the time to donate online this week. (Pat departed the front lines yesterday and will get home right before Christmas.)

 

·         Shannon K-N says, "I think your cause struck such a cord with me because I DO remember my first bike. It wasn't new or fancy. I found it in an abandoned apartment that my mother cleaned for the complex management and where we lived at the time. I taught myself to ride it, but as quickly as I got the bike, it was stolen. I'm now at a


·         A group of colleagues at Nationwide Insurance called and said they are building 10 new bikes as a team-building exercise and donating to Bike Lady. Love it!

 

The initial “kick-off” message is below the signature line. If you’re inclined, copy, paste and forward. Please help. Donate online at the website. Facebook it. Tweet it. Forward it and let the plea roll on…

Sincerely,

Kate Koch Gatch
Executive Director
Bike Lady, Inc.
PO Box 311
Blacklick, OH 43004
614.367.7739
FACEBOOK: Bike Lady Inc.

=========================

Happy Thanksgiving to Friends of the Bike Lady!

Two years ago, I asked a few friends, neighbors and family to join me in donating bicycles to the Franklin County Holiday Wish program to benefit local kids under the care of Franklin County Children Services (FCCS). Community generosity was overwhelming and we put over 100 local foster children safely on bikes, with helmet and lock included. In 2009, over 200 local kids who have suffered a history of abuse and neglect woke up to find a brand new set of shiny two wheels under the tree.

This year, it’s our hope to channel 500 bikes, helmets and locks to the FCCS Holiday Wish program. It’s going to be tough. But we have faith.

Close your eyes for just a second. Think back to all the holiday and birthday gifts you received as a child. What stands out the most? What is the one gift you distinctly remember? For many, I’ll bet it was your first new bike. Mine was a forest green, 3-speed and delivered by the Easter Bunny. Yours?

Over 5,000 children are under the care of FCCS, and, without your support, it’s unlikely they will ever experience the freedom, independence and rite of passage that a bike provides, and that lifelong memory will never be created. Bikes are matched to recipients by caseworkers. First, the focus is on life changes. What child wants to be on a sports team or get a part time job, but has no transportation? Next, bikes go to Kinship Care. These are foster kids often cared for by relatives. Kinship Care families typically receive no financial subsidy to offset the cost of raising these children and the caretakers are often struggling with poverty. Third, the bikes are matched to older kids that are available for adoption, but haven’t yet found a forever family and will more than likely emancipate out of the system. They want parents. A bike is the least we can do.

How can you help? Donate. Spread the word. Blog. Post on Facebook. Forward this email…

  • Donate online at www.bikelady.org
  • Or mail a check payable to Bike Lady, Inc., PO Box 311, Blacklick, OH 43004
  • Or select and purchase a bike, helmet and lock, then drop them off at FCCS Holiday Wish Santa's Workshop at 855 West Mound Street, M-F, 8-5. Contact me to assist in the delivery if needed

Bike Lady in the news:

Wednesday, November 24th, 10am, NPR WOSU Radio, 820AM on the radio, streaming live and on demand at http://www.wosu.org/allsides/. Call into the live show at 614.292.8513. Also Wednesday, November 24thWBNS 10TV local news broadcast, Female Focus Segment, 5:00pm.

Bike Lady Inc is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt charity. Your donation is tax deductible per IRS guidelines. Every dollar donated goes directly towards the purchase of bikes, helmets and locks and all bikes are donated to FCCS.

It will take over $35,000 to put 500 local kids under FCCS care on bikes this season. Special thanks to Whole FoodsABB FoundationColumbus Outdoor Pursuits and the Harmony Project for their organizational donations totaling over $15,000. And, we’re getting special pricing from Huffy Bikes, Wal-Mart and Bell Helmets which will make every dollar go further. And thanks to Abbruzzese Brothers, Inc. who are the best bike haulers in town when they’re not landscaping. They are on board again for 2010. And I know I can count on the Columbus cycling community – some of the best people I’ve ever met.

But 500 bikes -- over $35,000 total to raise – it’s a long haul and such a tough economy with so many struggling financially. I just ask that if you have a little to share, could you give a kid a bike?

Sincerely,

Kate Koch Gatch
Bike Lady, Inc.
PO Box 311
Blacklick, OH 43004
614.367.7739
FACEBOOK: Bike Lady Inc.

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