150 Bikes Built and Distributed to Local Children
On Tuesday, July 9 SAP employees gathered at the home of the San Jose Sharks to celebrate the unveiling of the newly minted SAP Center at San Jose. Following a special presentation and press conference, the employees got straight to work; although the day’s task was not likely to be found in their company job descriptions.
In a demonstration of SAP’s commitment to the community and partnership with the Sharks Foundation, SAP employees joined forces with San Jose Sharks front office staff to build 150 bikes for deserving local children. The arena floor was transformed into a bustling workshop, where volunteers worked quickly and efficiently to construct the bikes within the allotted two- hour timeframe.
Click here to see photos from the event
The bike build was a result of the Sharks Foundation’s collaboration with TurningWheels for Kids, a local organization focused on combating childhood obesity and supporting low-income families through the gift of a new bike. On this celebratory day, the bikes constructed by SAP and Sharks employees were dispersed to children from Breakthrough Silicon Valley and Eastside College Prep, two organizations committed to preparing underserved students for success in the classroom and beyond.
Many of the children slated to receive a bike worked side-by-side their benefactors during the building process and excitedly accepted their bikes and helmets immediately following the conclusion of the build. To the delight of the volunteers, the new bike owners could not resist taking a few victory spins around the arena floor. Cheers rang throughout the SAP Center as everyone posed for a final group photo before the students headed home to show off their new toys to friends and family. One young recipient, who had always shared a bike with his sisters, summarized the day’s purpose perfectly, saying “Finally, I have my own bike and I built it myself!”
ABOUT THE SHARKS FOUNDATION
The Sharks Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the lives of youth and families in our community with an emphasis in the areas of Education, Health and Safety, and Character Development. During the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons, the Sharks Foundation donated nearly $1 million in support to local organizations and since its inception in 1994, has given more than $6.7 million. For more information about the Sharks Foundation, visit: SharksFoundation.org. You can also follow the Sharks Foundation on Facebook at Facebook.com/SharksFoundation.
ABOUT TURNINGWHEELS FOR KIDS
In 2003, Susan Runsvold set out to ensure that no child would have to experience a Christmas without any cool and exciting gifts, an experience that she feared herself when she was young. Since then, her vision has expanded, as she discovered that bicycles–one of the coolest gifts a child can receive for Christmas–can have a more profound impact on children’s lives than she first imagined. The first year, she bought 12 brand-new bikes and gave them to children. She soon realized that beyond the immediate thrill of Christmas morning, these bikes bring children independence, confidence, a fun way to exercise, and a sense of adventure that nothing else could quite match. In 2005, Susan asked an amazing group of volunteers—many of whom now comprise the TurningWheels for Kids board—to help flesh out her dream. With a resounding “Yes!” from the team, TurningWheels For Kids (TWFK) was born. The unbelievable success of this group has resulted in more than 13,000 bikes being built and given to local children. Every person on the Board of TWFK gives tirelessly and with great generosity, both time and money, to advance this program. Raleigh America works with us, to help provide great, sturdy, safe bikes and helmets to children who would otherwise not have their own bike. The community, both business and individuals, come out, year after year, to support our efforts and make dreams come true. For more information about TurningWheels for Kids, please visit www.turningwheelsforkids.com.