Pine Street Carpenters held its 9th annual “100 Wheels Project” on December 8. With wrenches and ratchets in tow, over one-hundred volunteer elves descended upon Pine Street’s workshop in West Goshen to assemble 100 bicycles for deserving children in the community.
Each December since 2008, Pine Street Carpenters has partnered with local social service agencies and non-profit organizations to identify families and children in need. Bicycles are purchased for each child identified and, once assembled, delivered to the local organizations. Some organizations distribute the bikes at holiday parties; others work with parents to make sure a shiny new bike makes its way next to the Christmas tree on Christmas morning. Since the project’s launch in 2008, Pine Street has built and distributed 740 bikes for deserving children.
This year Pine Street partnered with ten non-profit agencies throughout the region, the largest number since the 100 Wheels Project was established. These organizations include: Family Services of Chester County (West Chester); Friends Association for the Care and Protection of Children (West Chester); Saint Agnes Day Room (West Chester); The Care Center (West Chester); Chester County Family Academy (West Chester); La Comunidad Hispana (Kennett Square); Family Services of Montgomery County (Norristown); Stewart Middle School (Norristown); Home of the Sparrow (Exton); and Delaware County Children and Youth Services (Upper Darby).
Alissa McBride, Community Prevention Coordinator for Family Services of Montgomery County and a 100 Wheels Project partner for several years, spoke of both the need for the project and the impact the program has on the community: “Most people are unaware that there are children living in poverty in very close proximity to them. These kids have a difficult time all year round, but the Christmas season is especially hard for them. The TV, radio, and Internet tell them that this is the most wonderful time of the year and that Santa Claus is coming to town, but their life experiences do not reflect that. The 100 Wheels Project gives many of these children a joyful Christmas that they will remember fondly for the rest of their lives.”
Another program partner, Margie Glah, Program Assistant for Family Services of Chester County, echoes McBride’s comments, saying, “I can’t tell you how excited the parents are. A number of these kids have never owned a bike and probably never would have if not for this program.”
In addition to bikes, helmets and bike locks also donated to accompany many of the bicycles. Through a grant provided by the Kids Injury Prevention Program at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, 70 helmets were provided for this year’s “100 Wheels Project.” Additional helmets will be donated by individuals and friends of Pine Street.
To learn how you can support “The 100 Wheels Project,” visit www.bikebuild.org.