The holiday season is in full swing and the year is drawing to an end. Many of us are preparing for time with our families and- hopefully- some much needed time on our bikes. The holidays are supposed to be about happiness and joy, though some families face more challenges than others to experience that joy.
Even during a strong economy, there are families across the nation- and the world- who struggle to be able to provide much of a holiday experience for their children. Even families that can provide something of a Christmas struggle to do so as they balance “wants” and “needs”.
Chris Cocalis, the President and CEO of BH Bikes USA, and his wife Cindy have been working to help make Christmas better for less fortunate kids for nearly 15 years now. Chris and Cindy, along with their two sons Cam and Cage, have donated bicycles and helmets over the years to various organizations, but recently have been working with the Salvation Army and their Christmas Angel program. Last year they donated 10 bikes, along with BH Bikes USA, and this year they’re donating a baker’s dozen, 13 lucky bikes and helmets. Over the years, between personal and company donations, about 40 area children have received bikes!
This yearly tradition has grown to become a big part of the company’s holiday season, with employees donating time and money to help with the cost of the bikes and helmets, as well as pitching in to get all the bikes built and ready to donate. Since BH Bikes does not produce children’s bikes, the bikes are purchased by the company, along with the helmets, with the contributions from employees and Chris and Cindy.
Many of us remember our first bicycle with agonizing detail and for some of us it was the most formative event of our lives. Those first rides on a bicycle are often the first whiff of freedom and independence for a child. Hopefully it serves as the beginning of a lifelong love of cycling- much as it has been for those of us at BH Bikes USA.
Chris and Cindy recognized long ago that they were lucky enough to be able to share their love of cycling with others. They’ve grown something that was just one or two bikes a year from themselves into something the entire company gets passionately behind. The office comes together each year to assist with the “building party” and takes great pride in what they are able to give back to the community.
With Christmas still a little over a week away, if you have the means, take a moment to see if there is a way you can help facilitate a similar program where you are. You never know what your donation might mean to a child- creating memories for a lifetime.
We would like to thank our local Pivot Cycles/ BH Bikes USA Sales Rep David Middents for helping us with the KHS and Free Agent bikes, as well as Lonnie Green of American Flyer Bicycles for helping us make these donations possible.