“We’re building these bikes and helping the community, at the same time while gaining funding for our education,” said Logan Shultz, a second-year diesel technology student.
KENNEWICK, Wash. — Bikes for Tikes is a northwest nonprofit that started right in Tri-Cities. This is their 13th year providing children in need of transportation with a bicycle during the holiday season.
This year is the first time Bikes for Tikes is partnering with Tri-Tech Skills Center. They are getting the student diesel mechanics some experience putting nearly one hundred mountain bikes together.
“Anytime you can partner up with Tri-tech is pretty cool,” said Randy Walli, Chairman for Bikes for Tikes.
Ninety-six mountain bikes were dropped off for the Tri-Tech Diesel Technology Program. They will put them together over the course of the week, according to Walli.
“We’re building these bikes and helping the community at the same time while gaining funding for our education,” said Logan Shultz, a second-year diesel technology student.
The students are also getting hands-on experience at Tri-Tech, putting together these 8 dozen sets of wheels.
“The mountain bikes, they take a little more finesse there’s a little more to ‘em, so, a little bit more expertise and these kids come from the shop classes to put these together,” said Walli.
This year, Bikes for Tikes is giving away more than 1,600 brand new bikes. They’ve donated thousands more over the years.
“This will give us over 18,500 bikes in 13 years to the community and you would think that you wouldn’t have a need for any more bikes, but every year there is,” said Walli.
Since the beginning, the charity has been working with Griggs Ace Hardware. Griggs handles the shipping, transportation and storage.
This is the first time Tri-Tech has taken ownership of getting some of these bikes built themselves, and Walli said he hopes the partnership continues on.
“Our plan is to get the entire class together and the group that has assembled that first bike, we will help them and show them so that the process goes faster,” said Shultz.
Friday morning is the big build, and then the big giveaway is in the afternoon.
“It’s like Christmas morning, come Friday. Cardboard and plastic’s flying,” explained Walli.
“It’s helping other people while helping us, and I feel when you’re able to do that and help other people you should just hop on and do it,” said Shultz.
Bikes for Tikes is looking for as many volunteers as they can get for Friday morning’s building session. The events all take place at the 3 Rivers Convention Center.
Once it’s all done, everyone gets together for what they call, ‘The Photo,’ with all volunteers and bikes.
They said it really makes you go, “Wow! That’s a lot of bikes.”
You can find out about getting involved, or getting a bike here.
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