100 kids surprised with free bikes

100 kids surprised with free bikes

WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Two non-profits have merged into one group with the same goal: to provide free bikes to as many kids as possible.

“Switching Gears” and “A Bike For Every Child” gave away 100 free bikes to kids in several different Wilmington neighborhoods Sunday.

“What we do is we try to take people’s trash and try to turn it into something to spread joy or even to be used for transportation purposes,” said Dusty Casteen.

The group accepts donations of bikes of all sizes and in any condition, information on how to donate can be found online.

They clean them up, repair them if needed and give them away to kids who may not have a bicycle.

Organizers are currently in need of larger bikes for kids ages 10 & up.

“We also need some monetary donations because we’re constantly buying parts to fix these bikes up," Casteen said. "We used to be somewhere around $15 on average for each bike we repair but the cost of parts has gone through the roof and now we’re looking at $20 to $30 for each bike we repair.”

Casteen says it’s particularly meaningful now amidst a pandemic when many kids have lost their social outlet at school.

“They’re not around their friends, they’re not able to do the things they used to do but, they can go for a bike ride," he said. "So that’s what we’re doing. We’re just trying to spread bikes all over Wilmington.”

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