The Boise Bicycle Project held their fourteenth annual Holiday Kids Bike Giveaway on Saturday, Dec. 19. Although the giveaway was a success, Executive Director and Founder of Boise Bicycle Project Jimmy Hallyburton said the preparation was far from easy.
“Pulling off an event like this with this many volunteers and kids coming down and doing it safely just seemed too impossible,” Hallyburton explained. “There was a national bike shortage, there was a national part shortage. We couldn't have volunteers in our shop working on bicycles, it was hard to get a hold of these kids because teachers weren't as in contact with them”.
Instead of having children line up elbow to elbow, people were required to socially distance and wear masks. Hallyburton said the event was a drive-thru kind of theme, modeled after the Boise Farmers Market.
Hallyburton added that he wasn’t sure if he and his team would be able to pull the event off but he reached out to the community, and he got support in return.
Every child who requested a bike from BBP received one. A total of 450 bikes were given away and bikes were given to hundreds of children referred by teachers, counselors and social workers. The bikes are donated by members of the community.
“That's one of the things I love about Boise and Idaho, we are a community that's will to get our hands dirty and jump in and help when needed and that's exactly what happened this year,” Hallyburton said. “So today it really seems like a special day, I think it is my proudest moment in the fourteen years that I've been the executive director here”.
Another 100 bikes will go to the Fort Hall and Duck Valley reservations next week.
Hallyburton said the event costs them $60,000, which is double the price they usually pay to host the event. He said he had no choice, they needed to put money into things like tents, heaters and renting outdoor space to make the giveaway possible amid the pandemic.