Calgary

This group made sure kids who wanted a bike on Canada Day got one

YYC Kids Ride collected donated bikes and scooters — and with the help from a local bike shop and other volunteers — fixed them up to give away to families who can't afford the investment.

YYC Kids Ride donated around 190 bicycles to Calgary families in need

Fourteen-year-old Kaleb Lapka said he has only had a few bikes in his life because they are too expensive for his family to afford. (Terri Trembath/CBC)

Kaleb Lapka is pretty excited about his new Norco mountain bike. 

The 14-year-old Calgarian said he has only had a couple throughout his childhood. 

"There's many things I have to kind of just, in my brain, already give up on. Because I know we don't have an extra this or that," Lapka said. 

"Even the cheaper ones, or $300, $400, whatever, right?" he said. "So it's hard." 

Lapka is one of about 190 young Calgarians who picked out a bike for free at the Forest Lawn Community Association on Canada Day. 

YYC Kids Ride collected donated bikes and scooters — and with the help from a local bike shop and other volunteers — fixed them up to give away to families who can't afford the investment.

Around 190 bicycles were set up in rows according to size for families and children to choose the perfect fit. (Terri Trembath/CBC)
Gar Gar started the YYC Kids Ride foundation in the middle of June and collected bikes before Canada Day. (Terri Trembath/CBC)

Brenda Nippard was able to find bikes for her daughters, aged two and three.

"It was pretty awesome. I didn't expect to see that many bikes in there." Nippard said.

Neither did Gar Gar, the founder of YYC Kids Ride.

He started the foundation on June 18 by posting on social media, looking for donations. It went from two to more than 200 within a couple weeks.

"We knew Calgary's generosity, we knew Albertan and Canadian generosity, but we never expected it to grow into that much," Gar said. 

Even with the donations, the group still couldn't keep up with the need, putting 75 families on a waiting list. 

Gar said they are planning more events to meet the demand.

"Kids don't want to sit at home with all the stress worrying about COVID-19. One thing we can give them, especially this Canada Day, is something they will forever remember," Gar said.

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