Engineers love to build, so what better way for a group of engineers to give back to the community than by building together? That’s probably what the Colorado Wireless Association thought when the group planned a volunteer event in partnership with Wish for Wheels to provide 35 Denver-area children with brand new bicycles and helmets.
Many of the kids who get bikes through Wish for Wheels have never had one before. Wish for Wheels targets Title 1 schools, and the volunteers who build the bikes take them to the school and hand deliver them to their new owners. Knowing they will look a child in the eye and help fasten a helmet, volunteers build the bikes as carefully as if they were building for their own kids.
Wish for Wheels supplied the Colorado Wireless Association with partially assembled bikes, and each volunteer completed the assembly of at least one bicycle. The building event was hosted at a Graybar office and attracted a wide range of wireless industry professionals, and they weren’t all engineers. Gil Martinez and Travis Thompson, regional managers at CTS, both participated in the bike-building event.
“When I was a kid, a bike meant freedom, so for me this was kind of a way to pay that forward,” said Martinez. He added that not all the kids know how to ride a bike when they first receive one, but most are excited by the idea. “It’s great just to see the excitement on their faces – their grins are huge,” he said. For those who can’t yet ride, the gifts present an opportunity to learn a new skill and build confidence.
“It opens up doors for them to see where the road takes them,” said Martinez. For those who come from homes that don’t have internet access or a safe place to study, bikes may take them to a library or community center, starting them on a road that could lead to a better life.