BOISE -- There are kids across Boise who are in need of a bicycle, but there are a lot of fewer of them today, thanks to the work of several charitable organizations.
There's something very special about a kid's first bicycle; it can be their first taste of independence. But for many kids in need, they never get a bike of their own.
That's why the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation raised money through their Blue Cruise ride, and put together a bike giveaway this weekend for children in need, many of them refugees.
"We have partnered with Boise Bicycle Project and ProHelmet to give 125 bikes away to kids," said Kendra Witt-Doyle, the manager of the Blue Cross Foundation for Health.
The City of Boise also helped, giving a ride to the event to these families since many don't own cars.
"For a lot of these kids, this is their first bike that they've owned," said Witt-Doyle. "It will be, basically, their mode of transportation."
"This really expands the area where they can travel, for going to school, going to the grocery store," said Jimmy Hallyburton of the Boise Bicycle Project. "So, it's really a life-enhancing thing. It's not just a toy to play with."
Mohamed and Halima Mkoma said they normally walk everywhere they go.
"You get tired easy," said Mohamed.
But now, they say they can ride their bikes to school, the YMCA, and wherever else they might need to go.
"They're awesome, cool," said Mohamed.
"Mine is better than his," added Halima.
Besides the bikes, kids also got new backpacks, bike locks and helmets. They also got a quick safety course. Organizers said they're simple things that clearly mean so much.
"To see the looks on their faces when they get these bikes, and how they take to them so quickly, it's really amazing," said David Wilkins, who was volunteering.
The event was so successful, they actually ran out of bikes toward the end, but gave out vouchers for bikes from the Boise Bicycle Project so those kids could pick up their wheels later.