WINNIPEG (Dec. 13, 2016)—Getting a new bike as a holiday gift is not unusual, but for hundreds of Winnipeg kids in need it’s just about the best thing going. They’ll get a ‘like new’ bike thanks to dozens of volunteer bicycle mechanics and Emterra Environmental who got together this past weekend to help The Winnipeg Repair Education and Cycling Hub’s (The WRENCH) restore hundreds of discarded bikes in their annual ‘Cycle of Giving’ marathon.
The process begins with volunteers heading to Winnipeg’s landfill site to sort through discarded bicycles and bringing them back into the city. Over the Saturday-Sunday 24-hour period, the volunteers restored more than 330 kids’ bikes to ‘like new’ condition this year. And come Monday morning, when the restoration work was done, Emterra Environmental was there to complete the marathon project – delivering the bikes to more than 20 schools, daycare units and social agencies that distribute them to their new young owners.
This is the sixth year that The WRENCH has undertaken the monumental job of restoring hundreds of discarded bikes to be given to kids who are in need, and it’s the fourth year that Emterra “elves” have loaded the bikes into Emterra trucks to be delivered all over the inner city.
The Emterra elves also showed up in the middle of the 24-hour marathon Saturday night to deliver booster juice drinks to give the volunteers a lift through the long night.
“Emterra’s help with our Cycle of Giving is invaluable,” said WRENCH communication coordinator, Jon Benson. “After weeks of planning and getting ready, and 24-hours of work restoring the bikes, all the volunteers and WRENCH staff are sleep deprived and exhausted. Emterra takes us down the home stretch to the finish line. They do all of the heavy lifting and we’re so grateful to have them as a partner in this community event.”
Emterra Environmental’s Senior Manager in Winnipeg John Sitarek credited The WRENCH for the amazing job they do year-round to make sure kids in Winnipeg have safe, reliable bikes to ride.
“The Cycle of Giving is an outstanding community event and we are proud to be a part of it under Emterra’s Community Care program,” he said.
About The WRENCH: The WRENCH is a Winnipeg-based volunteer organization that makes bicycles and cycling available to the public by providing programs, education and resources for community members, groups, and organizations; supporting and promoting bicycle use within the city and; and supporting new and existing community bike shops. Its mission is to create stronger, healthier communities, by removing barriers to building, repairing, and maintaining bicycles, with a special focus on educating youth. The Cycle of Giving was first organized in 2011 and has been growing every year, this year the Cycle of Giving provided over 330 bikes to kids during the holiday season.