Jacksonville Jaguars head athletic trainer Mike Ryan, the Jaguars Foundation, American Bicycle Company and the North Florida Bicycle Club are teaming-up this holiday season and making the holidays a little merrier for dozens of children living in Jacksonville by assisting with the annual "Bicycle Fix-Up and Giveaway Program." Through this program, the Bike Club donates bicycles they have reconditioned and assists with purchasing safety helmets that are distributed at Christmas time to children who do not have a bike and their families cannot afford one.
The event has grown from repairing less than a dozen bikes into annual event that draws the support of many dedicated volunteers who gather together to refurbish hundreds of bicycles one evening before Christmas. The bikes are then later delivered to ALLTEL Stadium where Jaguars Foundation staff help facilitate delivery of the bicycles to various locations where the children live. Among the children who will receive the Christmas bicycles are many who are served by Community Connections, which provides affordable housing and essential support services to homeless and low-income women, children and families.
To safeguard each child, a safety helmet accompanies every bike. The helmets were purchased this year with a donation from the Bike Club. This year the Bike Club is making an additional donation of 30 new bicycles for the Christmas give-away.
Throughout the year, American Bicycle Company accepts donations of used bicycles and stores them for the annual holiday event. This is the ninth year the charitable event has taken place and more than 100 bicycles will be distributed through the Jaguars Foundation and the Catholic Charities.