ST. CHARLES – With its Holiday Campaign for Mobility, a local nonprofit organization has set out to surprise 12 area special-needs children with a new adaptive bicycle this holiday season.
If Project Mobility reaches its goal, it would be the largest adaptive bicycle donation in the past several years, said Hal Honeyman, founder of Project Mobility. The organization typically tries to raise enough funds to purchase four to six adaptive bicycles each year, and the bicycles cost anywhere from $3,000 to $4,000, he said.
The goal this year is to raise about $40,000. As of Friday afternoon, a little more than $2,000 had been raised via the Holiday Campaign for Mobility’s GoFundMe fundraising website.
Honeyman said Project Mobility has been working with physical therapists in the area to coordinate donation efforts.
“We try to find families really in need of the bikes – families, for one reason or another, that could really use some help,” he said.
Several types of adaptive bicycles are available, he said, depending on a child’s strengths or weaknesses. For example, he said a child who has no use of his or her legs can use a bicycle that’s propelled by hand.
“If someone is in a wheelchair, you can put them on a bike, and they can be independently riding,” he said.
Honeyman said the bicycles are given to children around Christmas time each year, noting that this year, organizers are trying to make the effort a little bigger. Since Project Mobility’s inception in 2002, the organization has helped more than 5,000 children, according to a news release.
Honeyman said there’s no cutoff for when fundraising will end, but he said he hopes to raise enough money to purchase the bicycles to surprise children around Christmas time. Through GoFundMe, donors can be rewarded for giving certain amounts of money. All donors who give $10 or more will be entered to win a Trek 7.3 FX bicycle donated by Trek Bicycle Corporation.
The larger the donation, the more perks donors get to choose from, including being able to hand-select the child who receives an adaptive bicycle.
“Even a small donation can make a huge difference in the life of someone who has different types of challenges,” Honeyman said. “It makes a difference in their quality of life.”
To donate toward Project Mobility’s Holiday Campaign for Mobility, which aims to raise about $40,000 to purchase 12 adaptive bicycles for area children with special needs, visit www.gofundme.com/holiday-campaign-mobility.