Archive Post from July 9th, 2018
Trips for Kids Marin has a team of highly skilled, passionate staff who enjoy sharing their enthusiasm for biking while giving back to the community in the best way they know how. Here’s what some of our Re-Cyclery Bike Shop staff shared about their biking history and why they love working here.
In this post, we will hear from four of our talented Re-Cyclery staff, they are:
Why did you decide to work for Trips for Kids Marin?
Mick: I was retired and decided it was time to “give back.”
Brian: It is a fun crew to work with, and I believe in the organization.
Myron: I sought an opportunity to help the community through bicycling.
Sherry: I love working on older bikes and seeing them finding new owners.
At what age did you learn to ride and why is bicycling still an important part of your life?
Mick: When you get to be as old as I am, I can’t really remember when I started.
Brian: Four years old.
Myron: I first rode a bike at five years old.
Sherry: Around five years old I think.
What is your favorite aspect of riding?
Mick: My favorite aspect of riding is the feeling of freedom and getting away from the humdrum of life. As Robin Williams once said, “Cycling is the closest thing to flying.”
Brian: The thrill and the need for speed.
Myron: My favorite aspect of riding is learning new skills. I still love to bike commute and trail ride.
Sherry: Biking gives me time to think, allows me to be accessible (e.g., make eye contact with other road/path users), keeps me fit, saves me money, moves me at a pace that allows me to see what flowers are in bloom. It is the most elegant solution I know of to heal so much that ails us at every scale of human organization from personal to community to global.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Mick: Interacting with our customers and the enjoyment of restoring a cast-off bicycle to 100% functionality. In addition, knowing that the work we do in the shop and our customers’ support goes to a good cause that makes people happy!
Brian: Constantly being challenged.
Myron: Educating the public on bike riding.
Sherry: Learning new things.
What do you wish you knew about bikes as a kid that you learned later in life?
Mick: Just how to bring such a fun object (a bicycle) back to life.
Brian: How to change a tire.
Myron: The importance of regular maintenance.
Sherry: Even if it looks like an insurmountable mountain, go at it one pedal stroke at a time, and it is possible to get to the top.
We want to hear from you!
Why are bikes important to you? What do you wish you knew about bikes as a kid? Join the conversation and share your answers in the comments below.
Archive Post from May 31st, 2018
An Interview with a Rising Young Athlete and Role Model
At age 10, could you have imagined competing in a triathlon alongside adults? That is just what this incredible young man did. Not only that, Massimo "Mo" has decided to use his competitions to fundraise for causes he believes in. At Mo's recent Wildflower Sprint, he raised over $1000 for Trips for Kids Marin. Mo also finds time to volunteer with his father, Jenno, at Trips for Kids Marin, exposing kids to the joys of bicycling while inspiring our youth. We interviewed Mo to learn more about what motivates him and why he gives back.
When did you first become interested in bicycles?
When my dad bought me a Strider scoot bike at 1-½ years old, then on my 2-year-old birthday I got a 12” Specialized bike. I started to have more fun when I learned to pedal.
What is your favorite part about riding?
I enjoy the outdoors, nature and downhill single track.
What first motivated you to train for a triathlon?
I wanted to try something new and challenging, and since I ride and swim, it came naturally to me. My swim coach from Marlins Team, San Rafael also encouraged me to try a triathlon.
What was your first triathlon like and how old were you at the time?
My first triathlon was the 2016 Wildflower when I was eight.
Tell us a little about the Wildflower triathlon and why you decided to participate?
I enjoy the Wildflower because I love the experience. First, camping, and meeting new people is very fun. Second, I love the Cal Poly University volunteers for their awesome attitudes and for cheering on the athletes. Lastly, I enjoy competing with people from all over the globe. Whether its an athlete from California or as far as Belgium, they all come together to compete and have fun.
What helps you complete and motivates you to keep going during a difficult competition?
I try being the best I can be; when I start to get tired, I say positive things to myself. For example, I say almost there or so close.
How did you learn about Trips for Kids Marin?
I went to the Re-Cyclery Bike Shop in San Rafael to donate my 20in specialized bike and saw a TFKM poster outside.
How have you been involved with Trips for Kids Marin?
I have volunteered with my dad on trail rides.
Why did you decide to fundraise for Trips for Kids Marin?
I wanted to share my passion for biking with other kids in a positive way.
When I read TFKM’s mission about providing bike rides for underserved youths, I immediately got excited.
What advice would you share with kids in our programs?
Keep on working hard for what you believe in.
What’s next for you regarding training, school, and the future?
My next races are the Nevada City Classic and The California District Road Race Championships. The Nevada City is very challenging, over 1000 ft of climbing. This Fall I am looking forward to attending San Domenico as a 6th grader.
Anything else you would like to share with our supporters?
Overall it's been an incredible experience volunteering for TFKM. I've learned a lot from Adam, the TFKM Rides Program Manager. During my first trail ride, I was very nervous but Adam made it fun, and I was able to connect with the kids as we started talking and showing skills.
Archive post from May 21st, 2018
Girl Scouts Earn Sportsman Badge Riding with Trips for Kids Marin
Trips for Kids Marin (TFKM) is proud to announce a new program for girls called “Learn it, Fix it, Shred it!” in partnership with Girl Scouts of Northern California and Heart of Central California. This exciting day-long adventure combines TFKM’s Earn-a-Bike and Trail Rides programs that teach basic bike maintenance, proper trail safety, and basic mountain bike riding skills. We recently hosted a few local Girl Scout troops as part of the launch of this new program. Judging from the smiles, laughter and positive feedback from them and their parents; we are off to a smashing start. Here is an overview of how the program works.
In the morning, the scouts learn from our Earn-a-Bike instructor to name the parts of a bike, inflate a tire, properly lube a chain and check that their bike was adjusted correctly and safe to ride.
After lunch, they hit the trail at China Camp State Park for an afternoon of riding the trails under the guidance and instruction of our experienced Ride Leaders, stopping for nature moments and bike games along the way. The program concludes with a closing ceremony where the scouts earn a merit badge on ‘sportsmanship’ or ‘practicing with purpose’, depending on their age group.
“ I learned to think about other people and not just be in my own world.”
There is often a moving moment when each girl presents their badge to a fellow scout with an appreciation and acknowledgment of the excellent sportsmanship that they had witnessed during the day. One young rider remarked, “I learned to think about other people and not just be in my own world”. Another girl said, “I learned that good sportsmanship is waiting for your team to get through challenges together”. After learning bike maintenance skills and completing a 10-mile mountain bike ride, everyone receives their badge, and the beaming smiles and pride of the scouts are palpable. It always an impactful experience, and we couldn’t be happier to have the chance to share this journey with so many remarkable young ladies.
To date, an official ‘biking’ merit badge does not exist in the Girl Scouts, but we’re hoping to change that with this program; our goal is to have it become a new national model and partnership between Trips for Kids and Girls Scouts of the USA. Ride on Girl Scouts!
Archive Post from May 18th, 2018
A Weekend Camping Trip To Remember
This past April, six of our Earn-a-Bike youth participants were in for a special treat. We packed the vans and headed down south to Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey for an overnight adventure at 27th annual Sea Otter Classic. Sea Otter is a world-class biking festival, featuring a wide range of bicycle competitions, exhibits, demonstrations, and bike celebrity sightings.
This event served as the first-ever national Trips for Kids Sea Otter Jamboree, providing the opportunity to bring fellow Trips for Kids chapters together from across the country for a weekend full of fun and inspiration with the common purpose of celebrating the diverse world of bicycling. Our Bay Area youth had the chance to interact with and be inspired by other chapter riders, chapter leaders, bike enthusiasts and pro athletes, all with a shared focus on the sport. Earn-a-Bike Program Manager, Rogers Holmes, got to witness the magic first hand and shares his experience in this post.
Here is a brief photo tour of the weekend and a summary of the lasting impact the experience had on the kids:
Once arrived, we set up our campsite at Laguna Seca Raceway shared with other Trips for Kids chapters.
Then we explored the exhibit grounds as a group and talked with industry vendors and sponsors.
Here is a group shot showing youth and chapter representatives from a variety of locations, including: Trips for Kids Marin (San Rafael, CA), Trips for Kids National (Portland, CA), Trips for Kids Midcoast Maine (Westport Island, ME), Trips for Kids Bulldog Riders (San Jose, CA), and Trips for Kids Antelope Valley (Palmdale, CA).
Our kids got to learn helpful tips and tricks and check out cool products from industry experts including our national sponsor Giant Bicycles. At every booth, the kids got free merch including shirts, hats and water bottles.
There was even time for a game of cornhole at the Clif Bar tent.
Next was a demonstration from biking sensation Danny Macaskill as he performed street trials riding. His show included jumps, flips, and impressive tricks.
Danny Macaskill stopped by after to shake hands with Trips for Kids riders which everyone thought was super cool.
One of our youth even got a free swag bag directly from Danny Macaskill.
The day wasn’t just for spectators. Trips for Kids riders got to test out the Pumptrack course on bikes of their own.
Then it was time to view some of the competitive races including the Dual Slalom downhill competition.
We got up close to all the action! The excitement of the competition was contagious.
After viewing competitions, we got to meet some of the pro athletes who participated in the event and collect some signatures.
The day ended back at our campsite where we took in the natural beauty of the coastal landscape.
What camping trip wouldn’t be complete without s'mores around the fire? It was the perfect setting to relive some of the day’s highlights and build lasting memories.
A Lasting Impact
After returning home and reflecting on the event, Rogers Holmes, summarized by saying:
The kids wouldn’t stop talking about Sea Otter. What is really cool is you didn’t have to ask them if they enjoyed the trip. You could tell just by the clothes that they were wearing, that they got from the event. They just wouldn’t take them off. Every-time I see them they’re always sporting something from Sea Otter. It’s the coolest thing ever. They’re just super stoked and they are all invested in building up a nice bike now. They want to race and participate now. It was exciting, just seeing how the exposure heightened their interest in bikes. The timing was perfect to keep kids engaged after, with the nice riding weather and summer around the corner. It couldn’t have been better.
The kids felt the same way:
“Sea Otter was the time of my life. Just being involved in the racing scene inspires me to race next year. Being with the other campers brought me close to the whole experience.” - David, Age 13
“Going to Sea Otter was an amazing experience. This made me grateful for being there. I also saw biking in a different way, like Dual Slalom, Pumptrack, and road racing. I would totally go back. P.S. I love the campsite.“ - Roberto, Age 10
“I had a good time! Going to this race meant the world to me. And my dad told me I was going to be signed up for the Dual Slalom next year, so thank you!” - Blakester, Age 11
“It was fun and exciting. I loved the bike races. I want to learn more about all these riders and more about bikes. It was so much fun. These riders inspire me to be a better rider going down hills. I loved playing with the other Trips for Kids riders. The campsite was amazing with everyone.” - Will, Age 10
With all the fun we had, we can't wait to go back next year to Sea Otter Classic!
Archive Post from May 9th, 2018
Trips for Kids Marin recently sat down with Haden Ongaro, keyboardist and band manager of Bred2Shred in anticipation of our Trips for Kids Marin’s 30th anniversary gala in October, in which they are headlining. The purpose of this interview was to learn about the band and discover why they are so passionate about helping kids through their music, having performed at last year’s Moving Kids Forward Musical benefit, as well as, our upcoming celebration.
Haden, how long have you been involved with the Moving Kids Forward team?
I was one of the founders going back 3+ years ago.
Why do you support Trips for Kids Marin, what about our work speaks to you?
Anything that promotes kids to be outdoors and active is positive. Trips for Kids Marin takes it a step further by introducing disadvantaged kids to a passion of mine, mountain biking. Being on trails and seeing sights and beauty you would not otherwise witness is life changing. The feeling after a challenging ride is unparalleled. Bicycling combines so many things lacking in our everyday lives, such as getting outside and experience the wonders of nature and the incredible place we live.
Your band Bred2Shred is our featured musical guests for our 30th-anniversary gala; can you tell us about the origins of your group and the name?
The origins of the group begin with a bet when taking piano lessons at our company Christmas party. I told my piano teacher, Taylor Cutcomb, thinking it would force me to practice more to play a song in front of my office. Fear of failure is a powerful thing. Taylor took ten steps further by invited some of his favorite musician friends who play together regularly around the Bay Area. Bred2Shred is a term I use when thinking of another passion of mine skiing, "born to ski." The idea behind the phrase is to pursue your passion aggressively. For me, this manifested into a goal of continuing to play music and to join a band.
What kind/type of music do you play?
We play a wide variety of rock, blues, and funk. Covers of my favorite songs growing up paying tribute to some local bands such as Tower of Power, Sly and the Family Stone, Bonnie Raitt, Credence Clearwater and others.
Who are the other members of your band?
Bred2Shed combines some of the most sought-after Marin County musicians, including members of the highly acclaimed band Vinyl, lead singer Cathleen Riddley and Aaron Saul on alto saxophone. Drummer extraordinaire, Michael Pinkman from Peter Rowand’s Big Twang Theory and the Oakland Symphony. Taylor Cutcomb formerly with the Eric Martin Band and Matt Buehner lead guitar, previously in Glendale Philharmonic, Through the Roots and PlayFish.
Anything you want our supporters to know regarding why your involved with this cause?
The more I learn about Trips for Kids Marin, the more I am impressed with the organization, and it causes. Having a 30 year legacy in the nonprofit world speaks to the organization's impact, and the work of an incredible group of executives, volunteer, and supporters. Seeing the video played at the Moving Kids Forward benefit event was especially moving. I am honored to support such a well run organization.
Archive Post from May 1st, 2018
Participate in National Bike Month This May
May 9th is Bike to School Day, and May 10th is Bike to Work Day in Marin County, a perfect opportunity for parents to take a bike trip through the Bay Area with their children. Both annual biking celebrations give everyone a chance to experience just how fun and beneficial biking can be.
Residents of Marin County are pledging to bike to work or school to promote community, safe streets, and more livable neighborhoods. Kids and their parents can take the pledge to do some pedaling. Aside from experiencing how easy and enjoyable biking for everyday transportation can be, children will be able to discover their city in a new and exciting way.
Energizer Stations Throughout The Bay AreaAs families ride through familiar streets and perhaps explore some that are lesser known, they’ll be able to stop by Energizer Stations on Bike to Work Day for free beverages, snacks, and reusable tote bags filled with goodies.
This year, Trips for Kids Marin will be teaming up with the Marin County Bicycle Coalition to offer refreshments and a Re-Cyclery coupon in the goodie bags passed out at the 4th Street Energizer Station located by the SMART train station in San Rafael. Stop by our booth on May 10th from 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. to get your collectible bag and fuel for an energizing bike ride.
Looking For Routes To Ride?
Visit Map - Map Provided By Kuvara Law Firm
If you’d like to ride anywhere outside of your route to work or school, the map above contains over a dozen routes submitted and ranked by riders throughout the Bay Area. The map can be filtered by rating, distance, and difficulty. There’s a path for cyclists of any experience level.
Biking Safety Tips
Biking is a great way to form friendships, strengthen family bonds, get exercise, and reduce our impact on the environment. But, every child who gets on a bike needs to be prepared. According to Kaiser Permanente, more children between the ages of 5 and 14 get admitted to emergency rooms for bicycle-related injuries than any other activity-related injury. Kaiser stresses the importance of wearing a bicycle helmet and following 10 basic safety rules:
Choose an Appropriate Bike
For Bike to Work Day, Bike to School Day or any other bike-riding adventure, it’s vital that kids are on the right bikes. Children should be able to have their hands on the handlebars and the balls of their feet touching the ground while they’re sitting on the seat. Don’t buy a bike your child will “grow into.”
Wear a Correctly Fitted Bicycle Helmet
Kids’ helmets should sit on top of their heads and be level. If a helmet rocks backward, forward or side to side, it doesn’t fit correctly. Helmet straps should create a V under the ears and be snug while staying comfortable.
Evaluate the Bike’s Mechanic’s Regularly
Make sure brakes work, gears shift smoothly, and tires are properly inflated.
Dress in Bright, Neon or Fluorescent Colors
Wear a bright or fluorescent vest or jacket over clothes if they don’t stand out. Reflectors on clothing are ideal.
Avoid Rides After Dusk
Take the kids on bike trips before the sun goes down. After dusk, riding requires skills many children don’t have.
Don’t Listen to Music or Wear Headphones
Riders need to be able to hear all of the sounds of the road.
Follow All Road Rules
Cyclists should ride on the right side of the road and travel in the same direction as the other vehicles. Obey traffic signals and signs, and lane markings.
Watch Out for Drivers Parked in Cars
Pay attention to parked cars that might pull out suddenly or drivers inside that may open their doors in front of you.
Wear Close-Fitting Clothing
Loose clothes may get caught in bike wheels and chains.
Make Eye Contact
If you’re crossing in front of a car or pulling into its lane, try to make sure the driver sees you.
Adhere to these general guidelines for proper bike safety. And of course, have fun during National Bike Month.
Archive Post from April 18, 2016
Our Youth Learn from Being in Nature
By Adam Smith, Ride Program Manager
Max, the main character from Maurice Sendak’s beloved children's book, Where the Wild Things Are, would have loved to be on our trail ride with Project Avary at China Camp State Park that day. It would have been his kind of adventure. It indeed was Antonio’s. “Oh my gosh, it’s so beautiful!” Antonio said not long after taking his first pedal strokes on his first genuine mountain bike trail. “This is better than it looked on Google!”
Project Avary is one of our long-time agency partners that provides support services and programming for youth who have an incarcerated parent. We partner with them a few times a year to take their very deserving young people on trail rides, and they are a perennial staff favorite to lead. The kids from Avary light up during our programs. You can see how much the rides mean to them and they happily tell us why. Today’s wild ride was an especially memorable one, and the kids let us know over and over how excited they were to be there. And rightfully so, it’s not every day you get to ride along with deer, talk to turkeys and watch red tail hawks fly overhead.
“WOW! I’ve never seen a deer so close before! It’s so cool” Antonio enthusiastically exclaimed as we rounded a bend to find a herd of deer on the trail ahead. We stopped and watched them for a while. Unphased, they casually walked off the path, turned and watched us back.
Not five minutes up the trail we stopped at a bridge to catch our breath and have a sip of water when we heard a raucous sound coming from the woods not far from the trail. Wild turkeys! We all started making our best turkey impression (see video below). “Gobble, gobble gobble!” we made the noise in unison then listened for a response. Nothing. “Gobble, gobble gobble!” Again, nothing but silence. One more time, “Gobble, gobble gobble!!!!” Silence… But then, (insert authentic turkey noise here). We cheered as the wild turkeys responded to our group call. The kids loved it. I wonder what we said to the turkeys in hindsight. They must have liked it, whatever we did.
At the end of the ride, to top it off, a beautiful red tail hawk swooped down out of the sky and landed on a tree limb 25 yards off the trail. We stopped and watched it in silence. It was a powerful moment. A group of primarily inner city youth silently watching one of nature's most majestic creatures in its natural habitat. After we broke the silence, Antonio turned to me and said, “Thank you for bringing me here. This is so cool!”
“You’re welcome Antonio,” I said, “thank you for bringing me here today too. I’m so glad you love it so much.”
As we rode back, I couldn’t help but think we might see a boy in a wolf costume hiding in the woods with his wild friends at any point.
Archive Post from April 11, 2018
National Volunteer Week is April 15-21, 2018
National Volunteer Week, brought to you by Points of Light, is an opportunity to recognize and thank volunteers who lend their time, talent, voice and support to causes they care about in their community. Their stories can serve to inspire others to find ways to take action that creates change.
During National Volunteer Week, Trips for Kids Marin celebrates the impact of volunteer service and the power of changemakers to come together to tackle tough challenges and build stronger, more vibrant communities.
In 2017 we had 150+ volunteers log over 1,200 hours!
They helped us lead trail rides, paint our offices, sort and organize donated clothes, offer hands-on support to our Earn-a-Bike participants, hand address 1,500 envelopes for our year-end appeals and reach out to the community to help spread the word about what Trips for Kids Marin is all about. Wow! The Independent Sector puts the average value of volunteer time at $24.14 per hour - last year our volunteers helped fill the role of a full-time staff person. We appreciate every volunteer that walks through our doors and takes the time, energy and passion to help us fulfill our mission. Below we highlight two volunteers who have gone above and beyond to help out our team.
Jim joined us in October of last year. He recently retired and wanted to give back in a meaningful way. Jim has years of experience fixing his own bikes and wanted to help out at the Re-Cyclery. Since day 1, he set a regular schedule and has been coming in for 10 hours a week every week for the past 6 months. He is an amazing addition to the staff and he always has a smile! “Jim is joyful and fun to work with,” said Brian Lee, Re-Cyclery Shop Manager, “his work is flawless and his support helps us get more bikes on the racks to sell.” Thank you, Jim, for your dedication and support!
Dean is a recent addition to the volunteer team here. He is a skilled local contractor who dedicates his spare time to helping local agencies with remodeling project and he offered to help us transform our old Victorian office space into a modern kitchen and workroom. Dean and his team have volunteered over 75 hours to revive our space and create a room for donations, volunteer meetings, and staff luncheons. “There aren’t enough words of gratitude to express how much we appreciate all of Dean’s expertise!” said Kim Baenisch, Executive Director.
Archive Post from March 21st, 2018
A Milestone Ride for One Youth
Behind This Post:
Stories from the Trail is a blog series focused on capturing and retelling special moments from our Trail Rides program. We will highlight lessons learned, unexpected discoveries, and moments of pure joy our program youth experience on the trail. These stories convey a variety of perspectives including those of our dedicated ride leaders, volunteers, and youth.
A Milestone Ride for One Youth
By Adam Smith, Ride Program Manager
We always start our trail rides with an opening circle where we ask our young riders to tell us their name, the last time they rode a bike and what they are looking forward to during the adventure. You might imagine that most kids have been on a bike at least somewhat recently, but you’d be surprised to hear that this is quite often not the case. As much a part of childhood as riding a bike is for most youth in America, it isn’t uncommon to hear ours say they haven’t ridden a bike in many years, if they can remember at all. On this particular Friday afternoon we heard something different, however, “Hi, I am Victoria. I have not ridden a bike…”
There was silence for a moment as everyone looked around. Since this happens from time to time, I asked a follow-up question, “Hi Victoria, so do you know how to ride a bike?”
“Oh yes,” she replied, “I have not ridden a bike in America. I am from Nicaragua.”
“Que bien! Y que son tus deseos para este dia, Victoria?” I asked in Spanish, “ What are you looking forward to today?”
“To have fun!” she said and smiled.
And fun was had indeed. When we arrived at Ocean Beach, she immediately pulled out her cell phone and made a video call to her mother to show her where she was and how beautiful the ocean looked. Her mother sounded thrilled. She wanted to go on the beach, so we took a group down and let them play in the sand where a spontaneous game of tag broke out immediately. Laughter abounded.
Throughout the ride, Victoria progressed in her skill and confidence and told me a little more about herself. She has only been in the United States for half a year but loves it. She also relishes riding bikes, that was easy to see from the unwavering smile on her face.
We wrap-up our rides with a closing circle where we ask them to share a favorite moment from the trip and hand out Clif Bars (which she also really loves). Victoria said “Me gusto viendo el océano y montando muy rápido! ” (I liked seeing the ocean and riding really fast!)
“How was your first ride in America, Victoria? Will you come back and ride with us again?”
“Yes, of course! Me gusto mucho! (I loved it!)
From Victoria’s first bike ride in America to the tens of thousands of similar youth we’ve served throughout our 30-year history, this is why we do what we do. Trips for Kids Marin provides transformative cycling experiences for underserved youth that build self-esteem, inspire healthy lifestyles and instill environmental values. Today’s ride was a beautiful reminder of why what we do matters and why we couldn’t be more thankful to share our love of bikes and nature with deserving youth like Victoria.
Archive Post from March 20th, 2018
An Interview with Donor & Volunteer, Leslie Eichenberger
Leslie Eichenberger has been involved with Trips for Kids Marin (TFKM) for 30 years. An avid mountain bike rider, Leslie joined TFKM as a ride volunteer in the late eighties and soon after, started supporting the organization as a donor. Later, she married, now she and her husband Jim are both involved. “We give to Trips for Kids Marin because it provides simple joy for kids,” she said. “As a grassroots, get-it-done organization, we know the money is not being wasted on frivolous projects. Helping Trips for Kids Marin just makes us feel good.” In her work with TFKM, Leslie has led rides, helped with fundraising bike swaps as well as the Earn-a-Bike program. Leslie shared her thoughts about being a long-time volunteer and enthusiastic supporter.
What would you share with anyone considering getting involved with Trips for Kids Marin?
Remember when you were a kid and what a joy it was to learn how to ride a bike and the freedom and the absolute delight that you experienced? That’s what you can give underserved kids today by getting involved with Trips for Kids Marin. It’s simple happiness. It’s that wide grin that comes on a kid’s face -- that pure elation - he or she gets to experience.
It’s especially true for kids that are underserved and don't have bikes. There are many kids who participate with TFKM who have never been outside the City, let alone to Marin. They haven’t ever experienced the rush that comes with being outdoors, the fresh air, the smells and the absolute freedom that being on a bike brings. You can change that by getting involved.
I hope every kid gets to experience that joy, that all-of-a-sudden feeling that you can now go places and you can have independence for the first time. Plus, just being in the wilderness experiencing things for the first time: the smells, the sounds, the physical challenge of exertion and all those sensations, it's just pure fun.
Nature feeds your soul more than anything else can. Especially now with kids being so absorbed in devices, or television, or other things that don’t enrich their lives, that don’t nourish them. Being outdoors can deliver kids to a different place that’s healthy and pure and just good for them.
What would you tell someone who's thinking about donating to Trips for Kids Marin?
It's money well invested. It's not going to be wasted. If you ever saw TFKM’S headquarters, if you saw the office, and if you knew the founder Marilyn Price... thrifty is one word that would come to mind.
There are many worthwhile charities out there to give to, many non-profits that are doing great work. However, carving out a little bit of money for providing a simple joy for underserved kids delivers dividends down the line because the kids are healthier and happier because they've been outdoors.
If you think about your first trip outdoors, your first camping trip, your first bike ride, your first picnic, and how great that made you feel… and now multiply that by the thousands of kids TFKM serves every year, that's how your money is being invested. It’s pure joy.
You Have the Ability to Make Children Smile
If you would like to spread the joy of riding a bicycle with underserved youth in your community, please donate today. If you would like to find out about how to volunteer with Trips for Kids Marin, please read our volunteer page.