World Vision has generously donated 30 bicycles to the Bethel School District to replace a fleet that was stolen last May.
The King County-based aid organization has been an active community partner over the years, donating school supplies, clothes, furniture and basic hygiene items to Bethel families in need.
“They’re an incredible partner with hearts as big as the world. They’re just everywhere. They’re really that good,” said Jay Brower, Bethel’s Community Connections Director.
In May, thieves made off with a trailer full of 20 bicycles used to teach middle school students about bike safety. Those bikes, which were funded by OSPI, WSDOT, and Cascade Bicycle Club, were never recovered.
Thankfully, World Vision recently received a donation of roughly 800 slightly used bicycles from Ofo, a Chinese bikeshare organization that announced its plans to shut down services in Seattle this summer
World Vision will distribute the bright yellow bikes to cities all over the world. The organization has already sent bicycles to Chad, Nicaragua, and Somalia. They can now add the Bethel School District to that list.
Being able to help people across the globe is important, but many World Vision workers say it is especially rewarding when they can help children in their own communities.
“I have the best job at World Vision, because every day I get to hear stories about how a child got the clothes they need or supplies they need to get back to school,” said Jim Peterson with World Vision. “Currently we’re working on this bicycle project, which Bethel is part of. We’re replacing bicycles that were stolen with really fantastic bicycles.”
While large gifts like bicycles will get the most attention, World Vision helps Bethel families in all kinds of ways. The organization regularly donates everything from clothes and diapers to appliances and school supplies. They recently donated a bed and a large sectional couch to local families in need.
“For me, personally, to be able to help someone in need is a great thing. It really touches your heart. I love being able to help and give back to the community, especially to Bethel,” said Antonio Evans, a customer service representative who has been with World Vision for the past 12 years.
The new bicycles will be used to teach middle school students about safe cycling during P.E. class.