For the past three years Vista Las Palmas Neighborhood Organization (VLPNO) has supported a program called Build-A-Bike that is overseen by Riverside County Family Services (RCFS). RCFS help people who are in need of assistance. On a daily basis people come into their office who need help paying for electricity, heating, food and everyday necessities. It is run by the County of Riverside to help people over a rough period in their lives until they can get on their feet, and it is very strictly monitored.
At Christmas time people and organizations donate to the Build-A-Bike Fund and Larry Singh, the director at RCFS, purchases and assembles bikes for kids whose family cannot afford to buy them a bike. Riverside County Family Services compiles a list of families, (number and ages of kids) that meet their criteria. Family names are put into a hat when the time comes to pick the recipients. The family is contacted and given a time to come and “see Santa”.
Each bike has a sign with the child’s name and the donor’s name. They give 2 wheelers, some with training wheels if needed, 3 wheelers for the small kids and teddy bear’s for those too young for a bike. Each bike, whether a 2 or 3 wheeler comes with a helmet. Infants get car seats and the police make sure they installed correctly.
Sheila Cobrin attended the Santa event in December. She says, “All in all it is a wonderful event that really makes you feel good to have a child come up to you and give you a hug or a kiss and say thank you. Wide eyes and smiles say so much.”
VLPNO’s Membership Dues make it possible for us to participate in this most needed and appreciated program. Thank you Members!