What kid wouldn’t want a bicycle for Christmas?
But not every family can afford to put a new bike under the Christmas tree.
Thanks to a partnership between the Pasadena Police Department, the Salvation Army and the Pasadena Rotary Club, 250 kids have shiny new bikes to pedal around the neighborhood.
The bikes were given to families on Dec. 12 at the Salvation Army Tabernacle Corps on Walnut Avenue.
The Tabernacle Corps also serves as headquarters for Pasadena PD’s Police Athletic League (PAL).
“It’s our community that we are serving today,” said Pasadena PD Sgt. Glenn Thompson of the Community Services Unit. “We want them to know that the police really care about them having a very happy holiday.
Shamaya Harvey, 31, a lifelong resident of Pasadena, was receiving a bike for her young cousin.
“It brings more to families who are in need, that don’t have necessities and can’t afford what they need,” said Harvey, who spent her youth as a member of PAL. “The Pasadena Police Department steps up and helps out when you need it.”
Zulema Ramirez of Pasadena, a mother of four boys, was able to receive two bikes.
“This saves me a lot and the joy that the kids are going to have (is beautiful),” Ramirez said.
The bikes were paid for with contributions from local Rotary Club chapters and sold by Huffy at a generous discount, said Scott Vandrick, centennial president of the Rotary Club of Pasadena.
Rotary Club members also assembled the bikes.
The Huntington Hospital Foundation donated $5,000 to purchase helmets and locks, which were given away with each bike and Pasadena PD registered every bike.
“What the police department is doing here is registering the bikes so if something happens to the bike, we already have a serial number and if we find that bike, it’s registered through the Police Department, said Pasadena PD Lt. Carolyn Gordon, who oversees the department’s Community Service Unit.
The families who received the bikes were vetted by the Salvation Army.
When the bike giveaway program kicked off five years ago, 150 bikes were given away, said Rotary Club member Colleen Carey, co-chair of the campaign.
“Next year we hope to be at 300,” Carey said. “There is more of a need.”