OGDEN – Inside the Ogden Bicycle Collective, a mountain of kids bikes are waiting to go home with deserving children. Volunteers, like Will Bluemel, spend their time working on refurbishing them, ahead of the Community Christmas event on Dec. 15.
“This is a fun way to work on bikes,” Bluemel said, "and also put more bikes in the hands of kids who otherwise might not get to have them.”
Bluemel, who brings his two oldest sons, Roger and Allen, with him is one of only a handful of volunteers working to help the Ogden Bicycle Collective donate 100 bikes to the Community Christmas, an event which is working to help roughly 3,500 children in Davis and Weber counties have a better holiday.
“It’s a huge undertaking, but with community support, I’m fully confident we can make it happen,” Community Christmas organizer Bonnie Randall said. “It’s kind of amazing to see the miracles that happen every single year.”
The Ogden Bicycle Collective, however, has a difficult deadline ahead of them. While all 100 of the bicycles have already been donated, they’re asking for extra help to finish repairing them in time for the event.
“We have a very limited staff. We rely on volunteers to get all of that together,” Ogden Collective director Danielle Stiff said. “Usually the week or two before the event, however, we’re doing it, we’re scrambling to make sure we have all of the bikes ready.”
While the Collective has donated 100 bikes to children in need over the past several years, this is the first time all of them are going to the Community Christmas. On top of that, Randall said the charity event is also in need of volunteers who can help organize the many gifts that parents who are living under or near the poverty line will be able to choose from.
“They’re able to go and shop for their child and find the exact toy that’s on their kid’s Christmas list,” Randall said. “They’re so excited that they’re able to provide the magic and the joy for that kid, and they don’t have to feel defeated and feel like they’re a bad parent for not being able to give their kid a Christmas gift.”
The Community Christmas is supported almost completely by community members, who buy gifts listed on cards found on giving tree locations.
People who want to volunteer with Community Christmas can reach out through its website: communitychristmasut.org.
Those who want to help the Ogden Bicycle Collective refurbish bicycles can reach them through its website: bicyclecollective.org/ogden.