Newton-based REC for Kids is doing its part to put bikes under the Christmas tree for local youth this holiday season.
This year, the non-profit, volunteer-run organization – that collects donated bikes, refurbishes them and then distributes them to children in need – has delivered 30 bicycles of various sizes to the Surrey Christmas Bureau, and for a third year, bikes were also donated to the Langley bureau, REC for Kids Society member Don Jones told Peace Arch News.
Thirteen bikes – all fixed up to nearly-new conditions – were donated in Langley, while 12 were also given to Deltassist, which Jones said acts as the de facto Christmas bureau in that city.
Through bike donations from a variety of sources – including the Surrey RCMP and Delta Police – REC for Kids was able to fulfill every Christmas request, Jones noted.
REC – which stands for Recycled Equipment and Cycles – operates out of a city-owned house near Newton’s Unwin Park, and for years has collected and donated bikes and other sports equipment – from baseball bats and used gloves to basketballs and soccer cleats.
The program is modeled after a similar one in Edmonton and was the brainchild of White Rock Rotarian Derek Lucas, who passed away in 2013.
Those who receive REC donations are often referred to the organization by a social service, and the group also often donates bicycles to refugee children, who often arrive in Surrey with nothing.
“They come here literally with nothing, and to one of those children, a bike isn’t just a means of conveyance – not just a way to get around – but it’s something that allows them to be seen by their peers as being part of the group,” Ian Lagasse, a REC director, told PAN in 2015.