Bikes For Kids

Dec 24, 2013 5:45 PM

Thanks to the Bikes For Kids program, more than 120 foster children in the North State will be getting brand new bicycles for Christmas this year.

"I've heard many stories about not believing in Santa Claus and why, so it's things like what Ted did for all these kids that will bring the wonder of that back for them," foster parent Brenda Van Dusen said.

Ted Blankenheim, who's worked as a paramedic in Shasta County, says that he has seen firsthand how many kids have never had a bike.

"When you see them get a new bicycle it just kind of wakes them up and gives them some joy, and hopefully gets them a little bit of sunshine in their life," Blankenheim said.

The Bikes For Kids program is truly a community effort.

Every year, the Starbucks on Eureka Way in Downtown Redding provides a space for bike storage as well as a location for people to drop off donations.

"It's just a good cause and it's going to children, and so we think that if we can be a part of that, what better gift can we give them to just donate our space?" Starbucks barista Mary Orbea said.

"A lot of people donate that just walk into Starbucks, the others are retired folks, police officers, business owners, nurses, paramedics, clerks, you name it, everyone has a soft spot for a little kid," Blankenheim said.

Foster parents picking up bikes are looking forward to how ecstatic their kids will be come Christmas morning.

"It's going to huge for them to know that somebody who doesn't even know them cared enough to provide for them," Van Dusen said.

The bikes were picked up by Shasta County Youth and Family Services, who will help distribute them to foster children in the community.


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