She got them all.
Dow decided to give away the bicycles – which employees use to travel from plant to plant and avoid using their cars – following the purchase of a new, safer fleet of tricycles.
Patty Deutsche, Dow’s Senior Manager of Public Affairs, put out a call to nonprofits in the area, asking if they wanted used bikes. Dove responded immediately, asking for only a couple.
“When Patty sent out the e-mail, I thought, ‘Oh my god, there’s probably going to be 100 people trying to get these bikes,’” Dove said. “I called her right away. We’ve been giving out bikes along the years to kids who need them, but not on a scale like this.”
Delta 2000 is an Antioch-based hub of nonprofits that help people all over East County. The organization works with nonprofits to help them gain 501(c)3 tax-exempt status, and now houses a couple dozen organizations, such as the Elderly Wish Foundation and the Child Abuse Prevention Council.
What impressed Deutsche the most was how Dove didn’t plan to simply give away the bikes to kids, but use them as a learning opportunity. Dove said the organization will teach low-income children how to maintain a bicycle so that they’ll always have a safe and reliable way to get to school or work – and learn new skills.
“This is a win-win situation by Dow’s standards,” Deutsche wrote in a press release. “We love the idea that the bikes are going to kids who need to go to school or work. But we especially like the idea that the kids will be learning at the same time – not just maintenance but responsibility and maybe even the skill of teaching others. The fact that this is all right in our backyard was a bonus.”
Ideally, students in need of community service time will do it through Delta 2000. Dove would like to set up a program in which students gain hours by teaching their classmates how to repair and maintain bicycles.
Dove also hopes that owning a bike of their own will instill in kids a sense of responsibility and pride. The program will encourage students to repair as well as paint the bicycles, engaging the kids’ artistic impulses.
“Right now, we get a lot of court-order and community-service teens that have to do hours for summer school,” Dove said. “Our hope is to create a program through that, working with those kids who can educate other kids.”
Dow workers dropped off the used bikes – many of which are in dire need of some TLC – last Thursday. Dove plans to start distributing the bicycles to low-income and disadvantaged youth later this month, after school has finished for the spring.
Now that Delta 2000 has all these bicycles, it’s looking for more help from the community. The organization seeks bike stands, tools, toolboxes or any other equipment that would come in handy for bike repair.
For more information or to donate items, call Delta 2000 at 925-779-1404 or e-mail Dove at email@example.com.
Read more about how Delta 2000 helps low-income families over the holidays: www.thepress.net/view/full_story/16708176/article-Delta-2000-offers-holiday-helping-hand?