Wilmington Mayor James Baker accepted 50 bicycles today from the consulting firm CH2M HILL to be distributed to children in Wilmington for Christmas.
This marks the sixth consecutive year staff members from CH2M HILL have donated bikes to disadvantaged youth in Wilmington for the holidays as part of its Bikes for Kids program.
“We team up with the Philadelphia neighborhood Bike Works every year where we actually gather kids to assemble these bikes,” says Rami Raad, CH2M HILL Project Manager. “It’s a way also to give back to the community that we live and work in such as the city of Wilmington.”
Today’s donation of 50 bicycles brings the total number of bicycles distributed to Wilmington youth over the past six years to 265. The Mayor’s Office of Constituent Services contacted a number of community and neighborhood centers in recent weeks for recommendations about which families might benefit most from the holiday bicycle give-away.
“I remember when I got my first bike, they hid it behind the tree. The tree was big enough that they could hide it behind the tree and I opened up all my presents and I was really disappointed,” says Mayor Baker. “They said but you haven’t got all your gifts so finally they said well look around the tree so there was my first bike. And you never forget that as a kid when you get your first bike. It’s sort of like getting freedom for the first time in your life”
Representatives from CH2M HILL, city workers, including several police officers, and community agencies will present the bikes to area families this weekend.