A local nonprofit is changing youth’s lives for the better, and it’s doing it with bikes.
Bicycle Rescue for Youth had its first ever organized event on Saturday, May 25. Brad Belcher, founder of Bicycle Rescue for Youth, said he started this nonprofit to help kids in need have a chance to ride their very own bike.
When Belcher was growing up, he said he lived in poverty and had his bike stolen from him at a young age. When he and his family moved to Kent, he was able to build his own working bike out of scraps he found in his neighbors trash heap, he said in a previous story by the Reporter.
The nonprofit takes old, damaged bikes and refurbishes them for kids.
Now, Belcher said he is also refurbishing adult bikes too, that way kids can ride with their parents.
Belcher partnered with the Covington Storehouse to make this first event happen.
The Storehouse is a nonprofit food distribution program for families in need in the greater Covington area, according to the Storehouse website.
The bike give away occurred during the Storehouse’s Saturday food bank.
Belcher said he has a list of kids who are in need of a bike and if they showed up to the Saturday even, they were fitted for a helmet and a new ride.
From when he first spoke to the Reporter in September to now, Belcher said he has refurbished a couple hundred bikes and still has 100 more waiting to be refurbished.
He said the nonprofit is also receiving grants now.
“We got an unsolicited donation form the Bill Gates Foundation. It was still kind of surprising,” Belcher said.
According to Blecher, Bicycle for Youth will be having events like this periodically throughout the summer. The next event is on June 1.