The Kiwanis Club of Downtown Sparks is a recently re-chartered club, having been rechartered in 2000. In less than twenty years, they have developed a signature project that has proven to be a major success within their community: the Kiwanis Bike Program.
The focus of the Kiwanis Bike Program is pediatric trauma prevention, with bicycling and pedestrian safety at the forefront.
Within their 17,000 square foot bike shop and through community events, volunteers of the Kiwanis Bike Program host various programs to reach more than 2,000 youth in the community each year.
Annually, more than 4,000 bikes are received at the bike shop from the community. Once volunteers have reconditioned as many as possible, approximately 700-1,500 of these bikes are donated to schools and youth programs in their community annually, including the Boys and Girls Club, the Reno Fire Department, and Washoe County schools.
Youth throughout the community can also learn about and participate in bike repair clinics, in which youth organizations learn basic bike repair skills from trained, adult technicians at the bike shop.
Volunteers of the Kiwanis Bike Program also participate in numerous bicycling safety events for youth throughout the year both in the shop and throughout Washoe County. From hosting various bike rodeos throughout the year alongside Key Club and Circle K volunteers to participating in events such as the Bike Like a Girl Camp and Bikefest, the Kiwanis Bike Program ensures that as many youth as possible are educated about safe bicycling habits.
“The Bike Program is making a major difference in the community,” says Ellen Jacobson, member of the Kiwanis Club of Downtown Sparks and the Kiwanis Bike Program. “[The] program provides an opportunity to work directly with youth, which is missing in many service organizations… [and] what keeps our members excited is seeing the smiles on the kid’s faces when they fix and ride bikes.”
The Kiwanis Club of Downtown Sparks is helping prevent pediatric trauma through their signature project, and we hope their story has inspired you and your club to come up with a signature project to prevent pediatric trauma in your own community! Learn more about their project at www.kiwanisbikes.org.