RIVERSIDE – Few things will light up a child’s eyes at Christmastime more than a shiny new bicycle.
Thanks to Community Action Partnership and Bicycles for Children, a Corona-based nonprofit organization, 75 Riverside County youngsters will be riding a new bike in time for the holidays. The Holiday Bike Giveaway handed out the bicycles to children from each of the county’s five supervisorial districts.
“It is such a wonderful feeling to see the smiles and laughter when the kids ride the bicycles for the first time knowing they will be able to take the bikes home,” 3rd District Supervisor Chuck Washington said.
The first batch of bikes was handed out Dec. 19, in Perris followed by more throughout the county.
“The holidays are a special time of year for our children and families. I am pleased to join with Community Action Partnership of Riverside County to put a smile on the faces of so many children during the holidays,” 4th District Supervisor V. Manuel Perez said.
The children were selected by a committee made up of CAP staff after being recommended by parents, community members and others. Financial need is a key factor in the selection, CAP officials said. CAP is part of Riverside University Health System-Public Health.
The CAP program started in 2015, and scores of bicycles have been given out over the years. Bicycles for Children, a nonprofit based in Corona, was a key partner, and John White, peer assistance and leadership teacher at El Cerrito Middle School, is the program coordinator, Brenda Salas Freeman, executive director for CAP, said.
“The program continues to grow which shows there is a need in the community,” Salas Freeman said. “It is worth it to see the joy the bicycles bring to the children.”