You've heard of "pay it forward." But what about Roll it Forward?
The program, designed to help distribute bicycles to low-income residents of Boston, donated 65 bikes this week to young children living at the Lenox/Camden Housing Development in the South End.
Children ages 4-7 attended the bike giveaway, where they received a helmet and bicycle. Next week, 40 more bikes will be given away to children at the Madison Park Development in Roxbury.
Roll it Forward is supported by Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s Boston Bikes, International Bicycle Centers and the Boston Housing Authority.
“It’s important that children from all neighborhoods can benefit from our city bicycling programs,” said Mayor Menino. “Biking is a great way for children to stay healthy and have fun, and Roll It Forward makes that possible.”
The program started in 2012 in collaboration with the Boston Public Health Commission with the goal of distributing 1,000 bicycles to low-income Boston residents in order to make cycling a more accessible transportation option and promote a healthy lifestyle. To date, the program has distributed over 1,400 bicycles to children, teens, adults, and seniors across all Boston neighborhoods.
“The BHA is excited to receive more bicycles through Roll It Forward,” said BHA Administrator Bill McGonagle. “The City has taken the initiative to teach low-income children the many positive outcomes of cycling.”
Roll it Forward collects used bicycles of all sizes through designated drop off centers in Greater Boston and in partnership with area bike shops. Mechanics refurbish the bikes to ensure they are in good working order. Bikes are then distributed in partnership with organizations such as the Boston Housing Authority, Artists for Humanity, Franklin Park Coalition, LIFT Boston, Boston Public Schools, and area health centers.
International Bicycle Centers of Brighton has been a longtime supporter and partner of Mayor Menino’s Boston Bikes, recently donating 107 bicycles, bringing the total donated by International Bicycle Center to nearly 800 bicycles over the last two years.
"Our goal is to increase access to bikes by supporting Boston Bikes through donation bikes received as part of our youth bike trade up program," said Harold Knochin, owner of International Bicycle Centers.
If you're holding on to a bicycle you no longer need, drop it off at one of many locations and be eligible to receive a free t-shirt or jersey. Learn more at www.bostonbikes.org.