I met Jenna* late last year when she interviewed me for her Project Give Back assignment for school. She chose MFW as her focus because she hoped that “some day everyone will have a bike just like me.”

Project Give Back is a year-long project where students have to choose, research and present information on a charity they are interested in.

Jenna* with her amazing presentation on display

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Letter from Jenna* describing the project.

Jenna was very professional and thorough in interviewing me. She asked thoughtful questions and carefully wrote out my answers. I was absolutely delighted to meet her and thrilled that she decided to focus her project on MFW. It was wonderful to receive a letter from Jenna once the project was over, where she described the game she created as part of her presentation.

And I was moved to tears when I discovered from her mom that Jenna – a grade 4 student – decided to take things a few steps further.

In addition to spending time raising awareness about MFW, recycling and giving back to the community – Jenna organized and ran a cookie sale, a lemonade stand and a garage sale where she sold some of her things.  She collected five “like new” bikes AND raised $226.60 to donate to MFW.

I am filled with wonder and deep gratitude for the caring you expressed, Jenna. Thank you for the difference you have made!

*not her real name

Jenna* raised $226.60 through a cookie, lemonade and garage sale she organized to support MFW


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I met two lovely children, Colin (aged 8) and Brynna (aged 5) who saved up their money since last November so that they could buy a bike to donate to a child this spring. Brynna also donated her own bike, and big brother Colin even set up a donation jar in his grade 2 class to support My First Wheels.

It was so uplifting to see such a genuine, generous response from children so young. And it was a family affair; their parents encouraged Colin and Brynna’s active and independent participation in making a positive difference in the community.

Through simple, every day acts of collecting loose change, even a found lucky penny here and there…little by little, it added up to a bicycle gift – a real thrill for a child to receive! It could mean the difference between sitting inside this summer, and going for a ride outside, doing something positive, fun and healthy. A bike can mean so much, to a child and their family.

Colin and Brynna, your kindness will have a real and lasting impact. Thank you both, so much. YOU did it!

VIDEO: Students support My First Wheels

I am always so inspired when I encounter students who are interested in getting kids cycling.

Thank you so much and good luck on your project. To know that you connect with this cause, I feel like we’ve already won.

These two amazing kids (middle and right) donated their bikes recently. They said that they liked the idea that their bikes were going to someone who wouldn’t have one otherwise; that a child who needs a bike could enjoy it. In this video and picture, you’ll see the children who received their bike gifts.

Kids: you are so right. By passing on your bike, you gave these kids something that she may not otherwise have. A chance to go for a ride on her own bike. A chance to have fun outside, doing something healthy. You also did something good for the planet by making sure your bikes stayed out of landfills. So what you did has huge impacts – to families, your community, and the world. And that is AWESOME.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On June 6, My First Wheels was lucky enough to be featured as part of Susan Hay’s Global News program,  Making a Difference.  They highlight organizations and individuals in Toronto working to make positive changes in the city.   In this segment, thirteen Toronto kids aged 8 to 11 received bikes  as a surprise, on air!  They all just completed a bicycle safety program offered by one of MFW’s community partners, Davenport Perth Neighbourhood Health Centre.

The kids thought that they were just there to be a part of the interview, and had no idea they would be leaving with their first wheels!

It was incredibly moving to see how ecstatic the kids were to get their first bike.  They were cheering and riding around for hours afterward.

There was a great vibe in the air as the kids were enjoying the simple pleasure of a bike ride on a sunny afternoon.  And one of the kids who got a bike gift was even interviewed by Susan Hay!

I was contacted by a lovely high school student, Shahrzad, who wanted to know more about My First Wheels as part of the Youth and Philanthrophy Initiative.

YPI is an amazing high school classroom program that engages young people in causes they care about.  As part of a course, students choose one grassroots social service charity in their community and learn as much as they can about it through research and interviewing the charity contacts.  They then write and present a proposal to request funding for the charity. One proposal is selected from each school and the chosen charity receives a $5,000 grant from YPI.

I had the honour and privilege of attending the presentation at Drewry Secondary, a special needs school for students aged 14 to 21.  Shahrzad, Farah, Jeremy, Tyler presented their findings in front of a panel of judges, teachers, and the student body.

I was so moved to see how much work they put into the presentation.  When I arrived, they were all rehearsing and putting the final touches on the stage.  They created a poster for the display – coloured in by hand.  Even though the grant was awarded to another deserving charity, it was incredibly inspiring to see how much they cared about getting kids on bikes, and to see students working hard to contribute to their community.

Congratulations, guys, you were AWESOME.


Emily donated her bicycle

Emily’s grade two class participates in a program called “Mr. Nobody”.  Each child gets a turn helping transform him into a “Somebody” who makes a difference by making positive changes for the environment, communities, and the world.

Emily decided that she would have Mr. Nobody donate a bike to a child who needed one.

Despite the weather (see the snowflakes! in April!) Emily took the picture with Mr. Nobody and gave us a big smile.

Thank you, Emily, for showing us how kids can make a difference.   Your donation will help a child who may never have had the chance to own a bike, and inspires everyone to get involved in their community.

UPDATE June here is a picture of the girl who received Emily’s bike gift!

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