Community Program provides bikes to poor

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Community Program provides bikes to poor

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Created to assist people in need in the Sacramento area, Cycles 4 Hope is a nonprofit organization that is works to achieve the mission “Providing Hope One Bicycle at a Time.”

Founder of the organization, Shawn Holiday, said the goal he hopes to achieve is to provide as many bicycles as possible to homeless people in communities not only so they can work toward a better life, but also just to make them happy.

“The best thing we can achieve as an organization is to provide hope and restore joy in the lives of the people we serve,” Holiday said. “I measure this by the smiles we see as people ride off with their bicycle.”

Holiday originally started the organization after seeing the large amount of homeless men, women and children all over the Sacramento area and the harsh conditions they were living in. Providing them with a bike can help them with transportation to get food, medical help, water or even to get a job.

“A bike can help bring back the hope and the joy that so many of our homeless neighbors have lost.” Holiday said, “Its amazing to think that something many of us take for granted can be so incredibly valuable to another.”

Freshman at Granite Bay High School and son of Shawn Holiday, Luke Holiday, has been volunteering with Cycles 4 Hope for six years. He volunteers every Wednesday and Thursday, and every other Saturday he does an outreach in downtown Sacramento.

Luke Holiday said his favorite part about volunteering with Cycles 4 Hope is being able to work on the bikes knowing that it is going toward a good cause and people who are in need of the support.

He said one of his favorite memories was when a homeless man named Bryan showed interest spending time volunteering with the organization and ended up making an impact on the lives of the other volunteers at Cycles 4 Hope.

“As the years went on we really got to know (Bryan) and really spent a lot of time with Cycles 4 Hope,” Luke Holiday said. “He’s actually not homeless anymore and the reason for that is we provided a bike so he could get to and from work, and through that he was able to get a job and make a living for his family.”

The organization is always very inviting to people who want to volunteer and there are many opportunities for people who are interested. High school students can repair bicycles at the shop, hold bike drives and help with developing and running fundraising campaigns.

“Students who want to volunteer should go to our website and shoot us an email or stop by our shop on Wednesday or Thursday,” Luke Holiday said. “(On Wednesday and Thursday) we have ‘wrench nights’ where we fix up bikes and get them ready for the outreach.”

Right now, Cycles 4 Hope is working on a special project called “Christmas Bike” to provide bikes for children in need.

“We are fixing up hundreds of little kids bikes for families in need who can’t afford a bike for their kids for Christmas,” Luke Holiday said.

GBHS junior Claire Raney has participated in many other charity events and said she loves the purpose of Cycles 4 Hope. She is a member of National Charity League and spent time over the summer making 75 blankets to donate to homeless people in the Sacramento area.

“It was very rewarding donating the blankets to the homeless and I am really looking forward to participating in similar events in the future,” Raney said. “I have never volunteered for Cycles 4 Hope but I have heard a lot about the organization and I think it is a great way to give back to the community.”

Raney said she encourages people to participate in community outreach charity events because it is very heartwarming to see all of your hard work pay off when it benefits someone in need.

“I think a lot of people don’t realize how fortunate they are and it is really eye opening to experience the reactions of the people in need when you give them something most of us take for granted,” Raney said. “Thats why organizations like Cycles 4 Hope are so impactful because giving back to the community is one of the most rewarding things ever.”

Junior Nikki Tafoya helped Raney make the blankets along with other friends. She said that she also has heard of Cycles 4 Hope and thinks that volunteering with them would be a really great experience.

“Making blankets was such a simple thing and it was still really great knowing that because of us a few more people would be a little warmer on a cold night,” Tafoya said. “Providing bikes for the homeless would make an even greater impact on their lives which is why I think it sounds like a really great organization.”

Tafoya also said she hopes to some day have the opportunity to volunteer with Cycles 4 Hope and contribute to the impact of the organization.

“I hope that more and more organizations are made that are as influential as Cycles 4 Hope,” Tafoya said. “It is really easy to forget that there are so many people in our community that need our help and we need more people like Shawn Holiday to really make a difference.”

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