FYI Giving Away Bikes to Foster Kids Year-Round
FYI is changing its Dominic’s Bikes For Kids program this year to allow the organization to give more bikes away to foster kids by giving them away all year long.
In the past, FYI collected new and gently used kids bicycles (which are assembled or repaired and refurbished), which were then given to local foster children on a specific day during the summer. In 2020, the plan is to give them away all throughout the year. The first 27 bikes were distributed Friday, April 24.
“As the bikes are coming in, we are going to regularly get ahold of the foster agencies throughout the season instead of just one shot per year,” said Co-Executive Director Nikki Stefanow. “The great thing about that is in the past the kids were waiting all summer to get their bikes. But there are kids in the system every day. This change will help us meet and help kids more quickly. Before, only kids in the foster system right then (at the time of the annual giveaway) would get bikes. It’s a win-win. It’s a better opportunity all-around.”
Giving bikes away all throughout the year allows more bikes to come in as the storage facility is freed up, resulting in more bikes given out in total.
Dominic’s Bikes, which was started to honor the memory of Dominic Maiorano, tries to lessen the stress that can come from moving within the foster care system. It is a goal that volunteer Mike Kammer, affectionately known in FYI circles as “The Bike Whisperer,” believes in.
“It feels good to help the foster kids and kids who don’t have anything,” he said. “It really lifts the kids to get new bike.”
Many of the bikes given away in April had already been fixed up. However, volunteers Glenn Carey and Mike Trimeloni assisted Kammer in getting them out of storage and putting the final touches on them to get them ready for delivery.
“Now we have some more storage room, so we can accept more bikes,” Kammer said. “We still have 13 bikes for smaller kids to still give away.”