Published: 12:00 pm, Wed. Dec. 2nd, 2015Updated: 1:55 pm
This Christmas, 313 Artesia kindergartners will wake up to a brand new bicycle under their Christmas tree, thanks to Ride for Bikes, a local nonprofit organization.
As part of the program, the children will be making Christmas cards to send to wounded soldiers at the VA Hospital in Albuquerque. However, there’s a catch: The students have no idea they will be receiving a bicycle in return.
“One of the great things about this is these kids will be earning this bike without knowing it,” said Robby Gaines, Ride for Bikes director of events. “We’re teaching them the value of paying it forward.”
Ride for Bikes is still in need volunteers willing to donate their time to assemble and deliver the bicycles, as well as monetary donations.
“A few things are needed to make this program work; they are simply money and people,” said Gaines. “Without these, children don’t get a bike.”
Bicycle assembly will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, at the Artesia Center, 612 N. Eighth St. Ride for Bikes has plenty of jobs for people of all ages willing to donate their time, such as Bike Wranglers – children who help move the bikes along the assembly process; the Air Force, those airing up tires; the Packers, volunteers tagging bikes for their end destination; Loaders, those who load the bikes on trailers; and the Drivers, those who will deliver the bicycles.
Ride for Bikes is urging people to come prepared with metric wrenches, a Phillips screwdriver, and a smile.
If interested in donating monetarily, there are a few options.
The first is to visit rideforbikes.com and donate by credit card or PayPal. The second is to mail a check, made payable to “Ride for Bikes GAF,” to Ride for Bikes, 501 E. Main St., Artesia, N.M., 88210. The suggested donation is $50, which covers the cost of a bicycle; however, all donations are appreciated.