ASSIGNMENT UPDATE: We've asked you to help us obtain bikes for children in Wedgewood Apartments in the Hilltop area of Columbus. The original post is available here.
REFERRING OFFICER: Columbus Division of Police Officer Sean Taylor (10 Precinct)
The children of Wedgewood Apartments in the Hilltop area of Columbus love to ride bikes and play soccer. They don't have the best equipment for either, however, so Ofc Sean Taylor asked if we could help them obtain safe bicycles, helmets, and sporting goods. We put out the word here, and you all have responded in a big way!
We don't have a total count on bicycles because they haven't been centralized yet, but we know that just from Northwest Columbus on Sunday, 17 Precinct officers picked up the following: TWENTY-ONE bikes, four scooters, two electric trikes, four skateboards, and two baseball mitts & balls. (And some popsicles!!) That's our president's neighborhood, and we are once again blown away by their generosity. We had neighbors coming out when we stopped at houses saying, "Are you collecting bikes? I have one!" and they'd bring out one (or three!). It was so much fun.
We're planning a big event with several agencies including CPD, FOP Capital City Lodge #9, and the Department of Neighborhoods, where we can get all the children fitted for helmets and teach them to ride the bikes safely. The Department of Neighborhoods actually has a course that CPD's bike officers (Safe Streets) will ride with the kids and teach them when to stop and go and such. It's fantastic and a lot of fun for the kids. We'll also have food and have social distanced games, of course. And guess what? The helmets are all being donated by the city--yay!!
It's going to take about a month for the officers to get the bikes ready. We need to make sure all of them are safe for the kids to ride. Obviously, safety is number one for all of us, we're all willing to take it slow to make sure everyone gets safe bikes, helmets, and training. Completely worth it, and the kids will have an amazing event that they will definitely remember.
We're still accepting donations of bikes, but only if they're in good working order, please. We have lots of bikes that need to be worked on and we don't want to further delay the event. Please email us to arrange pickup.
You all have been very generous with your financial contributions. Thank you for that! In addition to using those donations to help fix up the bikes, we're also going to be able to help the kids out with the soccer team that's so dear to their hearts. We're probably even going to be able to get them soccer shirts, which is wonderful, because they're all very proud of playing soccer (and the officers report it keeps them out of trouble). We're also looking into getting them new goals and nets for the field.
More updates to come on this Assignment!