SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A bicycle can mean a lot of different things for a kid, be it a ride to work, school, or for fun.
Although, for many parents who are struggling to support their families, purchasing a bicycle is often put on the back burner for more day to day needs.
This week more than 60 bicycles will be given away to students in the Elk Grove Unified School District.
“It’s so exciting though,” Florence Oneto said. "It’s the heart of what we do at the regional support center is connect families with the community.”
Oneto is the Director of Elk Grove Schools Regional Student Support Center, which offers support services to students, family’s, and staff.
The bicycles will go to students-in-need and were donated to Elk Grove schools by local non-profit Heart of JB, founded by Jerry Braxmeyer.
Each of the 66 students, between 4 and 18-years-old, will receive a brand new bicycle, a helmet and a lock.
"We're not all blessed with the ability to afford certain things," Braxmeyer said. "And so, I think the lord has blessed me immensely and I want to give back to the community that has done so much for me."
Braxmeyer says he donated $2,000 of his own money to purchase the bicycles, the rest were donated by community members.
Many of the families that the program supports are in transition, struggling to make ends-meet, they have been evicted from their homes.
Maxine Hulsing is a grandmother of three students who received bicycles through the program. The children's mother is currently in nursing school and is struggling.
She called the bicycles a blessing for her grandchildren and humbling for her family to receive such gifts, Hulsing said.
“So, even after they start to get more stable, then they’re rebuilding their lives,” Oneto said.
The first distribution will happen on Wednesday, Feb. 6 at Prairie Elementary School and the next will take place Friday, Feb. 8 at the David Reese Elementary School.
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