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Free Bikes 4 Kidz Omaha hoping to give away more bikes in year two: 'we'd like to give away 1,000'

Posted at 11:37 AM, Oct 06, 2023

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — "We are recycling bikes that are literally sitting in garages, not being used," said Kevin Thompson, president of Free Bikes 4 Kidz Omaha.

"Last year we gave away 500 bikes and our goal this year is a little ambitious, we'd like to give away 1,000," Thompson said.

They partner with local non-profits to give free bikes to kids, who might not otherwise have a bike of their own.

"I was really excited because I usually don't ride bikes at home," said 13-year-old Alijah Sanders, who received his first bike from Free Bikes 4 Kidz Omaha last year for Christmas.

Alijah is a part of the NorthStar Foundation, the only all-boys after-school program in Omaha.

Abby Coen-Taylor, the middle school manager at NorthStar Foundation said for many of the kids, their bike is their transportation.

"It is their transportation sometimes to get to school, to go see their friends, to come to NorthStar. It really just elevates all of their abilities to be able to travel where they need to go," Coen-Taylor said.

Free Bikes 4 Kidz collects the pre-owned bikes, this year that is October 14 at 7 Hy-Vee local locations from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

  • 78th & Cass Hy-Vee in Omaha, 7910 Cass St.
  • 132nd & Dodge Hy-Vee in Omaha, 747 N 132nd St.
  • 144th & Millard Ave Hy-Vee in Omaha, 14591 Stony Brook Blvd.
  • 156th & Maple Hy-Vee in Omaha, 3410 N 156th St.
  • 180th & Pacific Hy-Vee in Omaha, 1000 S. 178th St.
  • 192nd & Hwy 370 Hy-Vee in Gretna, 10855 S 191st St.
  • Madison Ave &I-80 Hy-Vee in Council Bluffs, 1745 Madison Ave.

Donations can be any size bike, in any condition.
Once the bikes are collected, volunteers get to work to clean up the bikes.

"Anybody can come down here and clean a bike, I did it last year, you did it last year, it's a fun thing to come do with your friends or maybe co-workers," Thompson said.

Then any fixes are made before they are gifted to kids in December.

"That was really cool, Alijah was not here, on our giveaway day last year, but we had a lot of kids come in and get their bikes and the smiles on their faces, I mean you just heard Alijah say, that's the first bike he has ever been given to him, he never owned a bike," Thompson said.

Alijah's favorite memory so far was going down the hill for the first time.

"Exciting and scared, I got a cut on my leg," Sanders said.

Your first bike is a moment that brings lasting memories.

"You are probably helping a kid who wants to have a bike but doesn't have one," Sanders said.

For more information about Free Bikes 4 Kidz Omaha, alink to volunteer to collect, clean or fix bikes, click here.

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