Children learn skills, take home bikes thanks to Hilltop Bicycles and Family Promise
Elizabeth, NJ — 18 children took their very own bicycles home on Saturday following a bike clinic that taught basic skills such as balancing, braking, and bike safety. The event, co-hosted by Hilltop Bicycles and Family Promise, brought together families experiencing homelessness, volunteers, and graduates of the Family Promise Union County shelter program.
“The Learn to Ride a Bike event captivated kids of all ages—and an adult or two— bringing great joy to everyone who participated. The Hilltop staff were so patient and kind with the children and did a tremendous service tuning up and cleaning bikes for the big day,” said Geleen Donovan, Executive Director of Family Promise Union County.
The event was made possible through the New Jersey Healthy Communities Network grant and the first Tri for Family Promise in which 10 Family Promise staff and supporters competed in the New Jersey State Triathlon on July 20 to raise awareness and funds for families experiencing homelessness. Children also walked away from the Saturday event with helmets, locks, and water bottles.
Adam Augenzucker, a manager and event coordinator with Hilltop, ran the event with the help of colleagues. “We came out to help Family Promise get a bunch of kids involved in a healthy, active community, all learning to ride a bike and improving their skills. We’re also tuning the bikes up so they can enjoy the rest of this beautiful summer weather,” he said.
The kids weren’t the only ones who left happy. Donovan reported that one parent approached her at the conclusion of the event, saying: “Please say a big thank you to everyone that made this possible today. I have not had so much fun since I was a kid myself. I cannot stop smiling!”
Donovan hopes to secure two new bicycles for adult use at the Family Promise location in Elizabeth. Bike donations—adult or child— can be made to the Hilltop store at 30 Eastman Street in Cranford.
Founded in Summit, New Jersey, in 1988, Family Promise is the leading national nonprofit addressing the issue of family homelessness, with more than 200 Affiliates in 43 states engaging 200,000 volunteers. Through a comprehensive set of solutions involving prevention, shelter, and stabilization, Family Promise empowers families experiencing homelessness and at-risk families to reclaim and maintain their independence. Since our inception, Family Promise has served nearly 1 million people, the majority of them children.
Check out more photos of the event below!