A total of 107 elementary school students in Abbotsford were the recipients of a special gift this week.
The kids were given brand-new bicycles, helmets and locks courtesy of an initiative by Solid Rock Church in Abbosford.
The bikes were delivered on Wednesday afternoon to John MacLure Community School and Godson elementary and on Thursday to Upper Sumas and Alexander elementaries.
The students who received the gifts were selected in a random draw at each of the schools.
David and Winona Steunenberg, lead pastors at Solid Rock Church, said many of the kids had never before owned a bicycle and were thrilled with the gift.
“It was amazing. We got a card from the kids. A few of them gave us hugs, high fives, smiles – controlled chaos,” David said at the end of the first delivery day.
He said the project was inspired by a church in Los Angeles that donated 2,500 bicycles over the new year.
Solid Rock Church spoke with Dave Murray, director of the Abbotsford Food Bank, about their idea of donating 100 bikes. Murray loved it and approached some of the local schools he thought could benefit to see if they were interested in participating.
The church then drafted a letter seeking donations from local businesses, and a total of $13,000 was raised – enough to purchase 107 bicycles.
The bikes, helmets and locks were purchased from Canadian Tire, which Winona said provided them with an “amazing discount” and then sent a crew to the church to deliver and assemble the bikes.
Murray said it was the first time the food bank has been approached about this type of donation, and it was exciting to watch.
“Lots of high fives and lots of ‘Thank you so much!’ The kids were very thankful for what they received,” he said.
Other corporate sponsors who supported the project were: Columbia Kitchen Cabinets, Pacific Life Chiropractic, Aldergrove Credit Union, Parking Dot Com, Premier Pacific Homes and Expressions Homes.