By Savannah Timpani, Buffalo Exchange HQ
If you’ve ever shopped in one of our stores, you’re probably familiar with our Tokens for Bags program – you know, the one that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside because you have the chance to donate to a local charity every time you shop. If you’re not familiar, here’s the way it works: instead of supplying plastic bags that cost about a nickel apiece, we offer shoppers a token worth 5 cents to put towards a good cause. Every six months, we give three new charities the chance to participate. Recently, Buffalo Exchange Boston in Somerville teamed up with Bug’s Bikes to help children with special needs. Read on to find out why we’re proud to be supporting this awesome non-profit!
How did it all begin?
The idea for Bug’s Bikes came from 5-year-old ‘Bug’, a visually impaired kid with High-Functioning Autism who really loves to ride his bicycle! After finishing his second day of Adaptive Bike Camp, which helps children of all ability levels to ride, he decided that all kids should have the chance to ride their bike home every day. Unfortunately, with price tags for basic adaptive trikes running from $600 to $1,000 on average, many families can’t afford them. Every bike is a little different depending on the kid. Bug’s bike, for example, has three wheels, a seat belt and a seatback.
“Bikes Like Me for Kids Like Me”
Determined to help his friend Sienna get a bike, Bug set up a lemonade stand with the help of his parents. Who would have figured that they’d raise over $2,000 in just three days? On October 2, 2013, Bug’s Bikes gave their first bicycle to 5-year-old Sienna. Since then, Bug’s Bikes has run an annual lemonade stand, along with other fundraising efforts, to support Bug’s vision of “Bikes like mine for kids like me!” The adaptive bikes that Bug raises money for often give families their first chance to ride bikes together and are great therapeutic tools for helping kids with special needs to build strength. Eventually, Bug’s Bikes hopes to expand the program and give out several bikes a month!
To find out more about Bug’s Bikes and volunteer with them, visit BugsBikes.org. Or, if you’re in the Boston area, stop by Buffalo Exchange Boston Somerville to donate a token and help Bug keep the wheels turning!