Bike-collection drive to benefit kids of families from Ukraine
College Rotary club members head up effort to donate bikes ‘to every one of the 50 or 60 kids there in Delta’
The College Rotary Club is asking for donations of new and gently-used bicycles to give to the children of Ukrainian families who’ve relocated to Delta Junction. And the Fairbanks Cycle Club is helping out by taking donated bicycles during their annual bike swap happening Saturday at the Tanana Valley Fairgrounds.
It’s summertime, at least according to the calendar, and that means kids should be out riding their bikes with family and friends, enjoying the feel of freedom and wind in their hair. But some young people in Delta Junction need help to be able to take part in that American rite of passage.
That’s why Pamela Flory says “Let’s get these kids bikes!”
Flory is a board member of the College Rotary Club in Fairbanks. And she’s heading up the organization’s effort to collect new and used bikes for the 60 or so children of Ukrainian families who’ve come to Delta Junction to escape the war back home.
“I would like every one of the 50 or 60 kids there in Delta to get a bike for the summer,” she said in an interview Thursday.
Flory is a former social worker and librarian, and she says bikes keep kids busy during the summer and can help them make friends.
“I think if kids get onto bikes,” she said, “they’re moving, they’re exercising. They’re getting out, they’re socializing with other kids and they’ll find stuff to do”
That also would help their moms, because it’s mostly women and children who came to Delta last year under a U.S. State Department program set up after the war broke out.
“I just think that’s part of being an American kid, whether you’re in the country or a town,” she said. “They will participate, they will hang out with other kids -- they’ll be part of the culture.”
College Rotary needs bicycles for kids of all ages, from those who need training wheels to teenagers who’ll need adult-size bikes.
“We’re going to need a good 15 or 20 full-sized bikes,” she added.
Flory says anyone who’d like to donate a new or used bike can bring them to Saturday’s Fairbanks Cycle Club Bike Swap at the Tanana Valley Fairgrounds. They’re looking for bikes in good shape or in need of minimal repair. You can find out more about the event and the bicycle donation effort on the Cycle Club’s events webpage.