Seventy children in the Santa Clarita Valley will receive a brand new bike and helmet this holiday season.
As part of the 15th annual Christmas Promise Bike Build, Chiquita Canyon employees and their families came together to build and deliver 70 bikes to the Child and Family Center, Boys and Girls Club of Santa Clarita Valley and Help the Children Tuesday.
With the national campaign, more than 2,000 bikes will be donated to organizations across the county.
“This is Chiquita’s third year doing this,” Chiquita Canyon spokesman John Musella said. “We started off with 30 bikes then 60 the next year and now 70… As long as the need is there we will keep doing this.”
Employees of Chiquita Canyon assembled the bikes for three to four hours last Saturday.
“It’s a great experience and they feel good doing something together for families in the valley,” Musella said.
The Child and Family Center received 39 of these 70 bikes to distribute to their families in need.
“It’s an amazing opportunity for us. This is the third year Chiquita has done this for us,” said Joan Aschoff, president and CEO of the Child and Family Center. “We reach out to clinicians and find out if they have families in need.”
Aschoff said the bikes will be given to children young and old. Last year, Chiquita donated a bike for a 16-year-old who recently left a domestic violence situation and had to leave everything, including his bike, behind.
“It was his only form of transportation and how he connected with friends,” Aschoff said. “Chiquita was able to give him a bike which brought him new opportunities.”
Aschoff and Musella said the two organizations coordinate together to determine the number, size and kind of bikes needed at each location.
“Our development team does a tremendous job coordinating with community members for things like this,” Aschoff said.
And after Tuesday’s deliveries, 70 children will jump on their bicycles, strap on their new helmets and ride their first bike around the Santa Clarita Valley.
On Twitter as @_ChristinaCox_