Kids who receive a refurbished bicycle from Santa’s Workshop this Christmas will also receive a helmet thanks to recent donations from Canadian Tire and the Cross Canada Cycle Touring Society.
Each year, Santa’s Workshop works to refurbish approximately 200 donated bicycles and gives them to kids at Christmastime. Recently, CCCTS donated $1760 to be used for the purchase of bicycle maintenance tools and 53 new children’s cycling helmets. Canadian Tire came on board and donated $2,600 for a further 100 helmets.
Ed Fudge, CCCTS vice president and board member, says a couple of their local members volunteer to work on the bikes and noticed a lack of proper tools.
“Our members noticed that they were lacking tools and some other parts – everything from brakes to spare tires to specialized pieces of equipment that you need for bicycles,” he said. “It’s important that these bicycles are refurbished so they are in good working order before they go to the kids.”
Part of CCCTS’s mandate is to educate kids about safe cycling, and donating helmets was their way of encouraging children to start safe practices at a young age.
“Our general philosophy is the sooner that kids start cycling the better off we’ll be. It’s a skill they’ll keep for the rest of their lives,” he said. “We think starting early is a very important element and kids learning safe cycling is very important to us.”
Keith Pistell, Canadian Tire general manager, says Canadian Tire works to keep kids active, and partnering with CCCTS on this donation was a natural fit.
“There’s a lot of bikes given away each year that they refurbish, but you can’t really [refursbish] a bike helmet,” says Pistell. “It’s not necessarily something that every kid says, ‘Sweet a helmet.’ They’d rather have a remote control car or something exciting, but if you’re riding a bike, you really need to have it.”
Canadian Tire has supported Santa’s Workshop for a number of years, but this is the first year they have donated helmets.
“It’s nice to be able to do things to help take care of the community because this community’s always taken good care of us as well,” says Pistell. “A lot of those bikes that are being refurbished are old Canadian Tire bikes – who hasn’t had an old Canadian Tire bike? It just seemed like a good fit for us.”