giving

Another successful year for Jingle Bike For Kids…

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jingle bikes for kids cover photo

 

This was our second year collecting bikes for kids. Hubby and I started Jingle Bikes For Kids last year and knew we had to do it again this year. We hope to do it every year, bigger and better each time.

Last week, our collection of bikes grew as we picked up several and one was delivered to us. We just loved seeing all the bikes in our garage. Last year, we delivered them directly to the Toys For Tots distribution center. This year, we decided to deliver them to the Toys For Tots toy drive at the Walmart in Oldsmar. It was a beautiful, cool morning and it was such a fun time.

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We had a total of 13 bikes this year. There is nothing like seeing a truck full of bikes headed down the road to deliver. Hubby and I also purchased helmets for any that did not have them. In addition to the two bikes we purchased ourselves, we would like to thank:

  • Nancy D. (my mom)
  • Nick & Jenna D. (my brother and sister-in-law)
  • Erika G.
  • Corinna B.
  • Caroline C.
  • Carey & Melissa Birch
  • Tori & Patrick
  • Carol & Ken Lynch

 

Magic 94.9 and Fox 13 were broadcasting live and the 501st Legion was there. It was very festive!

 

And now, I will let my pictures tell the rest of the story…

 

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When we delivered the bikes, all I could think about is how proud my dad would be to see all those bikes lined up. He loved nothing more than making a child happy at Christmas, and we hope to carry this on yearly to honor that wonderful Christmas spirit that my dad had.

 

If you have any questions about Jingle Bikes For Kids, or if you would like to donate a bike in 2014, please feel free to contact me at nanci.cernak@yahoo.com or via our Facebook page.

Jingle Bikes For Kids 2013

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jingle bikes fb cover EDIT 3

 

Last year, our hearts were touched after my post about helping for the holidays. In memory of my dad, we set out to donate bikes to children in need. My dad was the ultimate family man and he loved nothing more than taking care of his family, as well as helping a child in need. A little behind the scenes of how we came up with this wonderful idea…

 

About 10 years ago, my dad did something that would not shock anyone that knew him. My dad was the definition of “family man” and he loved nothing more than a happy child during the holidays. One particular Christmas, my dad was at Wal-Mart and saw Toys For Tots outside. He wanted to buy a toy and make a donation. While in the toy department, he overheard a little boy asking his parents for a bike and they said they could not get one that year. My dad, being the generous man that he was, did something wonderful. He offered to buy the bike for the parents to give to the little boy, and they accepted, very much overwhelmed by his generosity. If that doesn’t make you smile, I don’t know what will. And, that is a glimpse into the person that my dad was.

 

 

Here are my posts from last year about donating bikes…

 

 

We had a total of 12 bikes and helmets donated last year. It was a wonderful thing to deliver those bikes to the Distribution Center and know they would end up in the hands of a child who was in need.

 

11 bikes 2012

 

bikes loaded

 

This year, we are hoping to be able to donate more bikes to Toys For Tots. It was about this time last year that my husband and I went to Wal-Mart and put two bikes and helmets on layaway. We are doing the same this year. We would love to be able to have more than 2 bikes to donate again this year.

If you are interested in donating a bike and helmet, please contact me at crazylifeofmineblog@gmail.com. We also have a Facebook page.

Delivering the bikes!

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By the end of last weekend, we had 11 bikes with helmets for our special holiday project that hubby and I started back in October. We were so touched by everyone who took part in this, helping to make for some very happy kiddos this Christmas.

 

11 bikes no logo

 

Tuesday morning, hubby loaded them up in his truck so we could delivered them to the Toys for Tots distribution warehouse. They all fit perfectly in the back of the truck.

 

bikes loaded

 

delivery

 

On arrival at the warehouse, we were greeted by several people who were more than happy to help us unload our goodies.

 

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unload 1

 

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Robin, the warehouse manager, took us on a tour after the bikes were unloaded. What a great guy! You could tell how important Toys for Tots was to him…

 

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warehouse 1

 

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It was wonderful to see all the bikes they had lined up there. My dad would have loved that sight! Our 11 bikes and helmets fit nicely in line with all the others. Do you remember the feeling of getting a bike when you were little? It’s a wonderful thing to be able to pass that on to someone else.

They had games, books, toys, stuffed animals, soccer balls, basketballs, and more. And they were sorting it all out, in preparation for the big day.

It had been our plan to volunteer on distribution day and I was very upset that we could not be a part of that yesterday because of my being sick. After delivering the bikes on Tuesday, I wanted to volunteer more than ever. The important thing, though, is that our bikes made it to their destination and are now in the hands of families in need and will make for a memorable Christmas morning.

Thank you to the following for being a part of this little project of ours – we can’t tell you enough how much your generosity means to us:

  • Karen Okabayashi
  • Angela Gordon-Somers
  • Carol & Ken Lynch
  • Nancy DeTrapani
  • Jenni DeTrapani
  • Cindy Balkema

And, thank you to Jenna and Nick DeTrapani, for purchasing a bike on Friday and dropping it off at the Toys for Tots drop in our name. That makes for 12 bikes in 2012!

 

jingle bikes fb cover EDIT 3

 

To learn more….

 

Do you have charities you donate to during the holidays?

Helping For The Holidays

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About 10 years ago, my dad did something that would not shock anyone that knew him. My dad was the definition of “family man” and he loved nothing more than a happy child during the holidays. One particular Christmas, my dad was at Wal-Mart and saw Toys For Tots outside. He wanted to buy a toy and make a donation. While in the toy department, he overheard a little boy asking his parents for a bike and they said they could not get one that year. My dad, being the generous man that he was, did something wonderful. He offered to buy the bike for the parents to give to the little boy, and they accepted, very much overwhelmed by his generosity. If that doesn’t make you smile, I don’t know what will. And, that is a glimpse into the person that my dad was.

Since my dad has passed almost two years ago, Christmas has not quite been the same. I have never known anyone who loved Christmas as much as him. He was the Clark Griswold of Christmas decorations and could never have too many ornaments or lights. He even made a few custom displays over the years. In my family, the Christmas decorations would come out on Thanksgiving and stay up until New Years Day. It was a big project, but he got so much pleasure out of the spirit of the season. In the two Christmas’ we’ve spent without him, we have tried to find that spirit that he so loved.

We have been thinking about his generosity a lot the past few months, and my husband and I have talked about how nice it would be to do something similar, in honor of my dad. My husband even wrote a blog post of his own a couple weeks ago about helping out, which you can read here. Since we do not have children, it would also be a nice feeling to help a child have a nice Christmas. After much conversation about it, we knew what we wanted to do.

Last weekend, on our anniversary, my husband and I went to Wal-Mart and put two children’s bikes (and helmets) on layaway. I cannot tell you what an amazing feeling that was. We weren’t sure yet where those bikes would go, but that was all a technicality. We knew that these would make a little boy and a little girl very happy.

 

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This super cool red and black bike will make a young boy very happy!

 

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This sweet bike will be perfect for a young girl!

 

Since then, we have decided on an organization to donate these bikes to, and we would love to have more than our two bikes to donate. Do you remember that feeling when you were little of getting a brand new bike? We cannot wait to give that happiness to a little boy and a little girl, all in honor of my dad.

The organization we have chosen is:

 

toys-for-tots

 

 

I have been in touch with the local Toys For Tots campaign office and I am so excited about this. The coordinator has been VERY helpful. After looking over their website, one sentence jumped out at me, and when I read it I knew this was the organization for our bikes to go to.

“Our goal is to never allow a child to wake up Christmas morning without a toy.”

This is something my dad would feel very strongly about. And that makes this all the more important to us. With that said, my husband and I would like to reach out to our family, friends, and more and see if we can turn this into something bigger. We would love to create a yearly campaign of our own and collect bikes to donate to Toys For Tots. And while Toys For Tots accept toys as well, in the spirit of my dad and his generosity for that little boy and his family at Wal-Mart, our focus is on bikes.

We are still working out all the details for our own little campaign, and we are setting up a Facebook page for it. As soon as we have all the remaining details ironed out, we’ll let everyone know so we can get the word out.

At any time, you can visit the Toys For Tots website HERE for more information on their organization. If you are interested in donating a bike, please let us know. We would love nothing more than to turn our 2 bikes into 5 or 6 bikes and make even more children happy.

**Please note that Toys For Tots will only accept NEW items.

My husband and I both know that my dad would be so proud of us. Knowing that we are helping to make a few children happy for Christmas will make for a very special Christmas for my husband and I.

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