CHESTERFIELD, Mo. – Variety, a St. Louis children’s charity, is once again giving away adaptive, custom bicycles to children with disabilities.
For more than 20 years, Variety has provided bikes to kids with disabilities. This year, they’re giving away more than 200 standard and adaptive bikes, which offers an opportunity for children with disabilities to join their siblings and friends on wheels.
“We realized pretty quickly that these bikes, while to some people might seem trivial or nice to have, are really vital and important, and can make a dramatic impact on their lives,” said Brian Roy, Executive Director of Variety.
Katie Thies came with her family to get her son, Hudson, a brand-new bike.
“We’re so excited to be able to take him out, and go for walks in the neighborhood as a family, and ride bikes with his sister. It’s great exercise for him,” she said.
Hudson is diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Until today, he was only able to sit outside and watch.
“It’s what you always picture when you have kids,” said Thies. “You expect them to enjoy their playtime together, you expect them to develop those relationships and be able to play with toys together, and to do outside things together.”
“There’s nothing like having a bike,” said volunteer Charles Mitchell. “When I was a small kid, I just remember my first bike, and the freedom that that gave me to ride around with my friends and to explore. And I think every kid should have that.”
For the first time ever, they had to close registration because of the overwhelming response in sign-up within the first week of the program’s launch.