BOISE - More than 400 children received an early Christmas gift from the Boise Bicycle Project on Saturday.

The children were referred to the BBP by other local nonprofit organizations, who let the BBP know what families were in need.

“For some of these kids, it’s their very first bike, and for all of these kids, this is something they wouldn’t have been able to get for Christmas otherwise,” said Jimmy Hallyburton, executive director of the Boise Bicycle Project. “It’s not only a bicycle that they’re getting for Christmas, it’s really the places they’ll go on this bicycle in the future – after-school programs, riding to school, all sorts of different stuff.”

The BBP planned on seeing 400 registered children show up to receive a bicycle and helmet on Saturday. Some who came were not registered, but they were not turned away.

“Every once in a while, we have a couple of kids come down who thought they were registered, but for some reason they weren’t. We know that it’s not the kids’ fault,” Hallyburton said. “So if the kids show up, and think they’re on the list, we make sure that they leave with a bicycle.”

The Treasure Valley Cycling Alliance and Safe Routes to School gave bike safety lessons to the children.

Every bicycle given away to a child has been repaired and checked by BBP volunteers.

If you would like to volunteer with the Boise Bicycle Project or learn more about its programs, click here.