Every Kid Deserves A Bike!
$80,662 of $100k goal
Every child deserves to have a bike, but, unfortunately, not every child has the opportunity to receive one. I teach at a title 1 school (low income, high poverty) in North Charleston, South Carolina with a student body of about 650 students. I see directly the struggles and the difficult hands in life some children are dealt. Many do not have the chance to visit places outside their immediate community or have a variety of experiences over weekends and the summer; rather, many children solely play on their street with neighborhood kids or strictly watch television. Over the years, after talking with students, I have come to the realization many have never ridden a bike nor do they have the means to own a bike, especially one that is new. I soon began to envision how each student's quality of life could improve if they had more freedom to ride around their neighborhoods. My goal is to provide each student at our school a new bike (with a helmet and bike lock) for Christmas, which, in many cases, may be the only gift they receive during the Holidays. #GFMtoSchool
****UPDATE: All bikes will be delivered to the students in late March (the exact date is still TBD). This is not the timeframe I was originally hoping for, obviously. I was hoping for Christmas but unfortunately I did not have all of the money raised in time. I have cried many tears over this but they have been delayed due to Chinese New Year. It was explained to me like this- just like around the holidays here in the US, airlines overbook flights and not everyone who bought a ticket gets on the flight they bought a ticket for...well, it's similar to that with shipping containers getting on the boats they were scheduled to get on around Chinese New Year- they overbook those as well. The container all of the bikes are on did not get onto the ship. I have been guaranteed delivery to the students at the end of March.
The students will still get the bikes and still enjoy them just as much. As in all aspects of life, there are unforeseen circumstances that occur and we just have to go with it and not dwell, instead, focus on the positive- the kids will still get bikes. Someone on here sent me a message after my last update about my disappointment in the delay and said something that I remind myself of whenever these delays occur. She said, "In the end, these kids won't remember what day or what month they got the bikes, all they will remember is that they got them."
I'm sorry if this disappoints anyone who donated with the intention of this being a Christmas gift. It was my intention too but I will be calling this a (very) "late Christmas gift" now because that is all that I can do. In the end, the students still get bikes and now even more students will be getting bikes at other schools. Thank you for being understanding in a situation that was out of my control.
The big day happened! The bikes were revealed to the kids and OH MY GOSH were they excited! I'm sure many of you have seen this story ALL over the news! So far over 100 articles have been written on the reveal and my new nonprofit "Going Places" and more keep coming in!
I can't thank you all enough for your kindness in donating and supporting this campaign. Right before the reveal I gave a short speech to the whole school and in it I said, "I want you all to understand one thing...this surprise is not a gift from me but it's a gift from our local community and our country. Strangers, people who know don't even know you, who don't know our school, and who don't know me gave their hard earned money to bring you joy. And one day when you're a grown up and you look back on this day I hope the magnitude of what that means inspires you to in turn, find a way to give and spread happiness to others.
Kids were screaming, jumping up and down, hugging each other, and just overall, beside themselves!! I made a point to really stare at their faces and soak it all in so I didn't get lost in the moment.
Parents have written me letters, hugged me, and just expressed the kindest words ever spoken to me about the level of their gratitude and some have said how they never could have afforded bikes for their 3 children and now they all have a brand new one with a lock and helmet. It's honestly been overwhelming in the best way. But again, this is because of all of YOU. I just had an idea that I thought would be a "nice thing to do," and gave people a way to help. YOU all bought those bikes. YOU all changed those kids lives. It literally sends warm feelings through my body when I see or hear of groups of kids on their new bikes riding them together throughout the neighborhood.
I am also VERY honored to have been named March 2017's recipient winner of The Jefferson Award, a prestigious award created by Jackie Kennedy for outstanding work in the community!
Please follow Going Places on Facebook to see all of the photos from that day!
LinkedIn: (right now it's just all under my personal profile while we still wait on getting Going Places' email set up) Katie Blomquist
Don't forget to check out the new GoFundMe for the nonprofit "Going Places" in which you will get sent a tax refund form!
Here are some of my favorite segments on the reveal and Going Places...
NBC NY Nightly News
ABC World New
ABC News4, Charleston, SC Jefferson Award Segment
Post and Courier
Post and Courier
LIVE skype with CNN's sister network HLN's Michaela Pereira https://twitter.com/Michaela/status/848948566433431553
Charleston County School District
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEvzlx7xwgQWCBD Count on News2
The website is still under construction so please bare with us while we continue to set it up but it CAN accept tax deductible donations! Check it out on the new GoFundMe which will send you a tax deduction form when the campaign has run its course!
Below are some pictures from the last couple of weeks I thought I would share.
The first one is from today, where a group of 12 people made up of firemen, military, my cousin, friends, and TOTAL strangers gave up 4hrs of their Friday, drove to the gymnasium of Royal Baptist Church in N. Charleston, worked together and assembled 100 bikes for our CD (preschool) kids donated from Radio Flyer! I don't know many other cities where strangers would come out and do this for kids they don't even know! Charleston and its' people are SO awesome! ❤
The second picture is of the amazing Affordabikes that I got to help design and name, assembled!
The third picture is a picture of me from when I was walking down King Street in downtown Charleston and all of a sudden looked over and what did I see...550 boxes all with my name on it! Of course I freaked out because I had just unknowingly stumbled upon the Affordabike wherehouse!
Stay tuned for the reveal and some new exciting BIG news I will announcing soon! ❤
I applaud what you are doing!! I did some research and I think you should contact the Ellen show. On her website she has sections where you can tell her your story. I am unable to donate at this time but maybe telling her about it will help. All the hope in the world that you reach your goal!
Interesting that so many comments show the poster has not read that helmets and a lock are provided too. A teacher is doing this and she will see the errors in the posts from people who cannot comprehend what they read or understand the impact of donating even a dollar. If everyone who commented and/or saw this on the Steve Harvey show donated just one dollar you would have met your goal. Over 300 people have clicked like but couldn't give you even one penny. Sad
Giving a hold a bike is a beautiful effort. But I would caution you to consider going one step further, provide each child wirh a bike helmet and set up classes at the school on the parking lot so that each child understands the safety rules for riding a bike. They should complete the course as their part of the "investment" of being a responsible bike rider. Riding a bike is a wonderful opportunity, riding a bike SAFELY is a true joy!
I was in tears reading this article, there's so many rich people in the world,and just a little care can change a kid outlook forever,I'll send a few dollars by mail,I only have cash but I'll send 10,or 20 after my check comes
I am blessed to have 13 wonderful grandchildren who have always had bikes so I am challenging all of you grandparents to donate $5-10 per grandchild to this amazing cause. Thank you for being a teacher with such a big compassionate heart of love for these children.
You should contact your local Wal-mart they might donate also worth a try. Get business involved get your council members involved its an election year. Contact your radio and television stations every little bit helps. I wish you luck its a wonderful thing you are doing
This is wonderful and so are you!
so excited for you!
Excellent idea and I aplaud your efforts that should make a positive impression on those students !!!!
There should be more people like you in the world! Congrats!!
blessings to you for all you do every day...
Thank you to the Steve Harvey show for donating $10,000 and to the TJ Maxx Twitter Campaign for donating $2,000!!
Thank you for all that you are doing! If they have not already been provided, please check with your police department to see if they will provide the helmets. Many police departments do provide them and I think most of them also put on a safety demonstration for the kids. Again - thank you!!
Congrats Katie on your hard work as showing such an inspiring story. Merry Christmas to you and all of the students at Peppermill Elementary School!
Bless your heart! You are doing so much good. Those kids are lucky to have you and you will inspire them for the rest of their lives. God bless all y'all.