Edmonds Boy Scout strives to double the bikes for families in need

Donate a new or gently used bike on Nov. 19
Nov 15, 2017

An Edmonds Boy Scout who loves bicycling wants to double the number of bikes for distribution to local families in need this holiday season at the Edmonds Toy Shop.

For his Troop 312 Eagle Project, 16-year-old Sam Harris has a goal of doubling the number of gently used or new bikes given last year to local underprivileged kids from about 50 to more than 100 this year. These bikes are given out at the annual Edmonds Toy Shop at Edmonds United Methodist Church (EUMC) on Dec. 9.

“Our Troop volunteers at the Toy Shop every year, so I’ve seen what a difference these donations mean to families,” Harris said. “That, and my interest in bicycling, is what inspired me to do this Eagle Project. If we double the bikes we can double the amount of kids in need to have a better holiday this year.”

The Toy Shop, set for Dec. 9 at EUMC, helps parents who can’t afford to purchase a bike or other toys to shop with dignity. The bikes mean a lot, giving kids the gift of exercise, recreation and, for teenagers, a way to get to school, work or other activities.

More than 300 families and 1,000 kids benefit from the EUMC Toy Shop every year, which serves parents in need who are already receiving services through the Edmonds Food Bank and/or Washington Kids In Transition, which serves homeless families in the Edmonds School District. Parents who otherwise couldn’t afford holiday presents for their kids can shop for toys, bikes, books and warm coats.

Harris made it clear he is a supporting an existing donation program, and credited a team of countless, passionate volunteers who’ve been collecting and distributing toys and bikes, and servicing donated used bikes to get them ready for giving, for more than 30 years. Long-time volunteer Coralie Shephard has been a key player in gathering bikes and is advising Harris on the project.

“It’s amazing how this community comes together every year – from the volunteers running the Toy Shop, to the local businesses and individuals donating toys and money,” Harris said. “I like knowing that I can help make a difference.”

His bike collection event is set for Sunday, Nov. 19, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Edmonds United Methodist Church, 828 Caspers Street, Edmonds. He and other Scouts from his Troop will clean and do minor repairs on the donated, gently used bikes.

If you have a gently used or new bike to donate, you can drop it off on Nov. 19, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Edmonds United Methodist Church, 828 Caspers Street, Edmonds or contact Harris at 425-775-7022.

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