ASSIGNMENT: Help us obtain bikes for children in Wedgewood Apartments in the Hilltop area of Columbus.
REFERRING OFFICER: Columbus Division of Police Officer Sean Taylor (10 Precinct)
The children of the Wedgewood Apartment Complex play happily in the streets of a very dangerous area, watched carefully by all nearby adults, as is customary in their native Somalia. Many of them are members of a tribe that was ostracized in their native country, so they have an additional bond that binds them. As in their native country, they work together to help each other, and they share possessions. So, the toys the children play with and the bikes they ride don't belong to one child, they belong to the group.
Ofc Sean Taylor, whose mother is originally from Turkey, has worked hard to establish a relationship with the residents of Wedgewood Apartments. He and his fellow CPD officers enjoy stopping by and spending time with the children when they can, and they're concerned about the unsafe bikes they have (see photo for an example). The kids love riding them, and among many, many children, there are only a handful of bikes, so to get them safe bikes, and more of them, would be wonderful.
We'd like to obtain donations for bicycles and other outdoor play equipment for the children of these apartments. They also enjoy playing soccer and have set up their own soccer fields, so we will put any additional funds towards obtaining equipment for that.
We are also happily accepting donations of used bikes in good condition. But please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We've found that Facebook messenger/comments aren't always reliable and things get lost, unfortunately, especially when we have a lot of messages coming in, so email is better. Do not try to drop off bikes at Wedgewood by yourself--it is a high crime area and we do not recommend you go there.
If you'd like to learn more about Wedgewood, you can read this Dispatch article.
Here's a video of Ofc Taylor helping to explain the pandemic to the Somali Bantu community.
Here's a fun story about CPD officers playing soccer with the kiddos of the area last year.
Thank you for your help. The kids and the officers appreciate it very much! 💙