Bikes are most often an integral part of childhood, but for some children in our community, owing a bike is a mere dream. Not only are bikes an important part of childhood health and fitness, they represent freedom, independence, inclusion and mobility for children of all ages and abilities.
Variety has made this mobility and independence a staple of its core programs by providing bikes to thousands of children served by Variety and partnering social service agencies across Southeastern Michigan for more than twenty years.
Variety Bikes for Kids approaches mobility for all in two distinct ways.
Through the generosity of Variety’s dedicated supporters and with the partnership of Target, more than 150 children receive the gift of a brand new bicycle, lock, and helmet at festive party each year. The children are treated to a memorable event with special guests Diana Lewis and Glenda Lewis, music, dancing, food and beverages, inflatables, carnival games, balloon twisters, a visit with PAWS and St. Nick, and more. With the incredible support of Delivering Good, children also receive brand new toys in addition to their new bikes.
Bikes are funded primarily by private donations and partnerships with corporations and foundations. A donation of $182.45 provides a new bike, helmet and lock to a child in need.
Additionally, the Variety Bikes for Kids Mobility Program works year round to provide prescriptively modified, adaptive therapy bikes to children with special needs.
Often, children with cognitive and/or physical challenges find a traditional bike to be challenging and often unsafe. With a customized adaptive bike, children can experience heightened mobility, independence and inclusion as they are now able to ride safely and with their siblings, family and friends. Children also receive significant therapeutic benefit from riding adaptive bikes and trikes—with an emphasis on strengthening muscles, increasing endurance and coordination, and a heightened ability to concentrate. Customized bikes range from approximately $1500-$4500 depending on modifications and typically are not covered by insurance.
For eligibility requirements for an adaptive bike for a child in need, please email Variety or call 248-258-5511. Applicants for consideration must submit a detailed application with letters of recommendation from the child’s physician or specialist and therapist and a detailed quote for the bike requested.
To support the Variety Bikes for Kids mobility program, please consider a donation online (please note #Bikes) or call 248-258-5511.