Bike Build 2018 brings bikes and smiles to local children

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Bike Build 2018 brings bikes and smiles to local children

Karen Kress and her team building bikes for kids.

On Saturday, November 29, 2018 more than 1,000 volunteers gathered at the Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL to build bikes for Tampa Bay kids in need. Bike Build 2018, hosted by onbikes, a Tampa-based nonprofit organization, brings together volunteers each year to help carry out its mission: “every kid deserves a bike.” This year, 900 new bicycles arrived unassembled, packed flat in boxes; volunteers worked in two-hour shifts to assemble the bicycles for delivery to at-risk and foster children in the Tampa Bay community. Each bike will be paired with a helmet and distributed to children in need with the assistance of local schools.

Members of Bike/Walk Tampa Bay participated in this year’s Bike Build, including Lucy Gonzalez and her family. “It is amazing to know that we are providing kids with a present that will give them skills and fun that can become a life-long gift,” shared Lucy. This is the third year she has participated as a Bike Build volunteer.

Lucy Gonzalez and her family volunteering at Bike Build 2018.

Karen Kress of Tampa Downtown Partnership and her family also volunteered at the Bike Build event for the first time. “It was a well-oiled machine how each table put together a bike assembly style!” said Karen. “It was rewarding to see how many volunteers and support from the community there was.”

onbikes began in 2011 when a group of friends organized a ride to raise funds to buy bikes for children. That ride has since evolved into the large-scale annual Winter Wonder Ride fundraising event, which funds the purchase of the bicycles, and the Bike Build event, where the bicycles are prepared for distribution. Since its inception, onbikes has assembled and donated over 3,500 bikes to kids in the Tampa Bay community.

onbikes Bike Build events are a great opportunity for participants and their families to not only give back to their community, but to also work together as a team. Whether building a bike, or receiving one, this event helps put smiles on a lot kids’ faces in Tampa Bay.

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