Donations needed to build bikes for disabled children
Specialized bikes seen in this undated photo (File Image)
WINNIPEG -- Demand for specialized bikes is high but the funds to build them is not there, according to the Children’s Rehabilitation Foundation.
Typically the foundation receives about ten requests for the bikes this time of year, but with a lack of recreation opportunities brought on by the pandemic that list has grown to 25.
“Getting out and riding a bike is not only enjoyable, it’s therapeutic, it provides physical health benefits,” said Adell Gauthier, fund development and event coordinator for the Children's Rehabilitation Foundation.
“Being able to ride a bike with the rest of your family is one way you can get outside, enjoy the nice weather and have happiness.”
The bikes are custom built for children with unique needs. Extra supports are added like seatbelts and footpods. The additions come at a cost, with prices ranging from $1500 to $6500 per bike, and cannot be purchased at a regular shop.
The Children’s Rehabilitation Foundation, aided by donations, helps families by taking away that cost, but pandemic restrictions have hampered fundraising efforts.
“Last year was extremely difficult,” said Gauthier. “Moving our walk to a virtual event and cancelling our golf tournament and cancelling our gala dinner and not knowing what, if any, opportunities will exist for this year again,” said Gauthier.
A call for donations was put out on Tuesday to raise the approximately $70,000 needed to build the 25 bikes on the list. Gauthier tells CTV News the response has been good, with $6800 raised so far.
To donate you can visit the foundation’s website or call 204-258-6702.
“We are hopeful in putting out this call now that Winnipeggers will once again now step up and say, ‘We want to make sure kids are out there making the most of their spring and summer.’”