We had a wonderful Bikes & Badges event today at Columbus Recreation and Parks Department's Westgate Community Recreation Center in the Hilltop. Along with Columbus Division of Police and Dublin Police, we gave away over 100 bikes. Thanks to the Department of Neighborhoods Columbus, there was music and helmets for every child.
There was already a long line of kids and their families waiting at 3:30, standing in the hot sun, even though the event didn't start until 4:00. They were hoping for a chance to get a used bike, and it broke our hearts because even then we knew we wouldn't have enough bikes for everyone.
By 4:30, all the bikes were given out, and we had to turn away a lot of people. No one was angry or upset, but we know that children were disappointed, and it made us sad.
The need in this city is so great. At times like this, we have to focus on why we're called the "Starfish Assignment." We know we're never going to make everything better for everyone, so we focus on making it better for one person, based on this parable:
One day a man was walking along a beach when he noticed a boy picking up starfish and throwing them into the ocean. He asked the boy what he was doing.
“Throwing starfish into the ocean,” the child replied. “The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back in, they’ll die."
The man laughed. “How can you possibly hope to make a difference? There are miles of beach here, and hundreds, if not thousands of starfish washed up onto it.”
The boy listened politely, then bent down and gently tossed another starfish into the surf. He smiled at the man and said, “I made a difference to that one.”
We're grateful to all the agencies that allow us to partner with them to make a difference for one. Thank you. 💙