Remember the first time you rode a bike by yourself? The feeling you had soaring down a hill, handlebar ribbons blowing in the wind. Your training wheels were off, but you weren’t scared. You knew dad wasn’t too far behind.
Childhood is a precious time. But just like the feeling you had that day, it’s fleeting.
For children growing up in foster care, life moves even faster. Simple joys, like riding your first brand new bike, could be a luxury your family simply can’t afford.
This fall, employees at Xcenda, a national strategic consulting firm, decided to use their annual retreat for a team building activity with a purpose – to build bikes for foster children with Eckerd Connects. The employees, who had spent the day brainstorming at the Sandpearl, broke into small teams to build dozens of Huffy bicycles for both boys and girls.
“It seems to me like this is a really good service thing,” said Destin Sameson, director of market accessing at Xcenda. “We’re not just checking a box here. This is actually going to be impactful for kids. I’ve got five kids of my own, and I’ve done this for every single one of them. Every child deserves that.”
Before the building began, Eckerd Connects’ Laurallyn Segur, senior director of foster care licensing, thanked the Xcenda staffers for their generosity. During her talk, she shared stories of children who had been taken into foster care.
Often, she said, these children cling to any belongings they can, hoping to gain a sense of normalcy.
“I’m sure if I asked you all to raise your hand if you rode a bike of your very own when you were three, and four, and five years old, all of you would,” said Segur. “And you probably had someone to push that bike for you. But these kids don’t. So what you’re doing today is amazing. You’re leaders.”