PORTLAND, Ore. — Dozens of refugee and immigrant children got to take home a free bicycle Thursday, thanks to a non-profit that’s new to Portland.
Free Bikes 4 Kidz partnered with Providence Health & Services to collect 340 bikes at 10 Portland-area Providence Medical Group clinics. Over the last three months, volunteers worked to refurbish and repair the bikes for the kids, who also got free helmets and safety instruction.
“I've never been where we're doing a bike safety talk and I stop talking, and it's translated into three different languages, simultaneously—that's pretty neat,” said Kurt Wolfgang, Operations Director for Free Bikes 4 Kidz. “I hope they'll be able to ride them in their neighborhoods safely, and then fall in love with it and be able to ride into the future.”
Sisters Mary and Mata were among the children who took bikes home.
“They are very happy,” said their uncle.
The sisters and their mom recently immigrated to the United States from Malaysia. Just days ago, their uncle said the young girls asked him for a gift he couldn’t afford.
“They said, ‘can you buy for me a bike?’ I wanted to buy, but I needed to support something else financial,” he said. “I waiting and then this—it is God's plan, I think.”
To learn more about Free Bikes 4 Kids, visit their website at www.fb4kportland.org.