Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Helping Holiday: Triangle Spokes provides kids with bikes for Christmas

Posted November 24, 2015

Editor's Note: The focus might be on Black Friday this week, but we're offering ways to give back for Giving Tuesday, which is Dec. 1. Today, we'll focus on Note in the Pocket. Check back to learn more about other local agencies that are helping kids. Read more about Note in the Pocket.

A bike for Christmas: It's a simple request for many families. In fact, it's the kind of wish that most parents are happy to oblige - especially when the rest of the Christmas list includes various gadgets and video games.

But for many families across the region, it's an unreachable dream. They are struggling to cover the most basic of needs for their families. A new bike for Christmas is out of the question.

Triangle Spokes Group started in 2007 to help fill the gap. This year, the group, an offshoot of a Charlotte program, plans to donate more than 600 bikes to families at the Salvation Army's annual Toy Shop, which provides toys and stocking stuffers to needy families in the region. Ashley Wilson, a former teacher whose family started the program in Charlotte, and Jenn Nowalk, a mom of two, co-founded the Triangle Spokes Group.

"Kids can't help the circumstances they are born into," said Nowalk, who also is the sales and marketing director for Homes by Dickerson. "We remember the joy a bike brought growing up."

The groups provide only brand new bikes to the children. Through a partnership with Huffy, the Charlotte and Triangle-based groups have been able to lock in a price for the 20 and 26-inch bikes of just $70 each. That includes the bike, a helmet and assembly. Volunteers from Charlotte travel to Raleigh each year for an intense few days of bike assembly.

While many donations to the group comes in around the holidays, Nowalk said the group is working on year-round efforts to raise money and awareness of the need. By August, the group must order bikes for Christmas and put half of the money down.

"It's definitely a leap of faith, but I feel there are so many good people," Nowalk said.

Here is what Triangle Spokes Group needs:

The group could use donations of any amount to help cover the $70 cost of the bike, helmet and assembly. Nowalk said she's heard of kids who asked for donations to the group in lieu of birthday presents. It doesn't take many $5 and $10 donations to reach $70! All of the money donated to the Triangle Spokes Group is spent on the bikes. Nowalk and Wilson cover any administrative costs out of their own pockets.

How you can help:

Nowalk said the group would love for people to spread the word about their group and the need. Triangle Spokes Group also is happy to provide cards so you can donate in the name of somebody.

"It's always worked out great," Nowalk said. "It's been amazing to see how the organization has touched a lot of people."

Triangle Spokes Group's website has more information about how you can help.


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