The most recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2010 stated that more than one third of children in the United States were overweight or obese.
One of the best ways for children to stay active, especially over the summer, is for them to ride their bicycles. However, not all children own bikes and that is why the city of Northglenn is seeking donations for its bike program.
“We have a dedicated group of retired volunteers that work on the bikes weekly preparing them for the distributions,” said Jenni Murphy, the city’s community outreach coordinator. “(The bike program) is a wonderful way to connect with the community through our partnerships with the local food banks as well as so many families in Northglenn and surrounding communities.”
Dr. Donna Ackerman, a pediatrician at North Suburban Medical Center, said she thought the program was an excellent resource for area children. She said that having a bike encourages children to be more active.
“The kids that don’t have a bike over the summer sometimes will feel left out — they don’t want to have to run alongside the others with bikes and feel left out,” she said.
The program began about 20 years ago when a city employee with the sanitation department, Jimmy Bowman, noticed that people were throwing away perfectly good bicycles, Murphy said.
He asked permission to take the bikes and began working on them at home to give away to children.
After Bowman retired more than nine years ago, Murphy said, the council decided to make the program a city outreach project.
The city partners with the Immaculate Heart of Mary Stewardship Center to distribute the bikes to families. They generally hold two distributions a year.
In 2012, they gave away 88 bikes in June and 235 bikes at Christmas.
Bicycles can be donated by calling Jenni Murphy, 303-450-8904, or firstname.lastname@example.org.