Jim Dodson: Hey, it's Jim Dodson, The Florida Bike Guy. Welcome to our livestream. Just a quick program this morning to talk about our 7th Annual Bikes for Kids event last night.
So this is the seventh year, of course, that we've done this. And this is when we bring typically five children in, we gather their name from a variety of sources. Some apply online to a page we have on our website. Some we get through our contacts in the community. But these are typically kids who are not gonna receive a bike for Christmas, they have a financial need, there's a personal story behind every one of these children. And we have an opportunity with our friends over at Chainwheel Drive to help change someone's life for that day, you know, to put a smile on a kid's face, to give a bike for Christmas they didn't expect.
So picture this, Kati has reached out and talked to the families. We understand the need. We have asked them to bring the children to the shop at six o'clock, but don't tell them why they're there. So these kids are walking into Chainwheel Drive, their Clearwater location, they probably have 100 bicycles on display in the shop. It's quite a visual image to walk in and see. It's very spectacular, and for a kid it's like being in a candy store. And then, as we get them there, we tell them why they're there, and they're gonna actually walk out with a brand new bike that they didn't think they were gonna get.
Kati’s got a picture up. This young man, who, I guess he's 12 or just turned 13 maybe, but he got this brand new BMX bike. It's a red BMX bike. You see me holding the bike up behind him. These are really nice Haro BMX bikes, and he was so happy. You see the smile on his mom's face.
We had the nicest kids last night and the nicest parents. This next image, you know we brought these kids in one at a time, and what we do is we give them the bike, and then Kati goes in and we give them a helmet, and she fits the helmet, cause she's a certified helmet fitter. This young man who's ten years old came up to me after he'd gotten his bike, gotten his helmet, and pictures had been taken, and I was sort of focused in another direction for a minute, and I turned around, and he walked up without saying anything, and put his arms around my waist in the most, really an affectionate strong hug, and said, "Thank you Mr. Jim." And, aww man, it was such a nice moment.
It's just a reminder, what we can do in the cycling community to help the lives of others. It's just our way to reach out. There's a lot of other things that wonderful people do as well, but it was a reminder to me that the things you do make a difference in the lives of children. There was a family there last night. The mom had passed away. She was in her thirties. She had six children. We gave a bike to the youngest. Of course the grandmother was there with these children, who now has the responsibility. And can you imagine how meaningful that is for that family to be able to get a bike for a child that really needed it, and wouldn't otherwise have had an opportunity this year to have that happen?
So, I encourage everyone. A lot of people are doing a lot of wonderful things this time of year. It's great to be involved. We're so pleased. We're so happy about our friends at Chainwheel Drive that help make this thing possible. They're great. Mike and Dottie and Tom, and everybody works together to make it a real special night for everybody. These kids get fitted to the bike. They get the helmet fitted. They get to ride around the store a little bit, and everybody leaves feeling good about the season, feeling good about helping others.
And this reminder that we are here for the cycling community. If you need us, regardless of the need, regardless of why you need us, call and I'll do anything I can to help. And I respect and admire the people that we have known, we work with, our clients. There's so much that I so much respect and admire about cyclists, and about the wonderful people that we associate with.
I wanna wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah. It is a wonderful time of year, and it's great for us to be able to give back and do something that helps our community. Thank you for taking a minute to share this with us. You can find our images on our Facebook page. Kati and our intern Hannah have loaded up some great pictures there of the kids from last night. So everyone have a wonderful holiday season. I'll look for you in 2020. That's it Jim Dodson, The Florida Bike Guy. Be safe out there and have a great year. Bye.