by Bob Lupton
Bike thefts are down in South Atlanta. Way down. That’s because nearly every kid now has a bike. Before our South Atlanta Bike Shop opened, bike thefts used to be an epidemic. The police can attest to that. But all that has changed.
Any day after school or on the weekends, you can drop by the Bike Shop (located in our Gateway building) and see dozens of kids of all ages repairing, restoring, and servicing bicycles. The younger ones will be learning basics: how to patch tires and adjust brakes. The more advanced will be replacing wheel bearings, changing sprockets, and balancing spoke wheels. Each is accumulating credits that will earn them a bike of their choosing and the privilege of using all the Bike Shop tools and parts to maintain it. The more skilled (our budding entrepreneurs) even perform services and repairs for walk-in customers.
You will also see uniformed police volunteering at the Bike Shop. A number of them see this as a great opportunity to work on their own bikes, pass along some of their skills, and build good relationships with neighborhood youth (which also cuts down on bike theft). It’s a very friendly way to do community policing.
Such school-year activities are great. But summertime is best time of all for South Atlanta kids. That’s when summer camp begins with an array of fun and character- building activities. And for those who love biking, it is time for their physical and mental endurance to be put to the test. They will head out on tours – beginner day-rides as well as challenging multi-day trips for the older ones – that will strengthen both body and spirit.
Will you join us again this year as a sponsor for one or more of our kids? Parents will contribute, kids will work, in-kind contributions will be secured, and volunteers will give generously of their time. Your $100 sponsorship will make up the difference and ensure a summer filled with adventure and encouragement for a child who needs our support.
So grateful for your partnership in service,