From the Desk of a SRTS Educator:
Bike Helmet Giveaway
Michele Geiger, Outreach Specialist & SRTS Educator
With Summertime 2020 coming to an end (and what a summer it was!), it is now time to focus on going back to school, and the safety of our children. But before homework and projects rain down upon us, I would like to reflect back on the Summer of 2020, and the events Cross County Connection put forward to ensure safety for children while riding their bikes.
With every challenge comes a silver lining, and I saw many of both this summer during the Covid-19 Virus pandemic. One of the first things we noticed: more families were out riding their bicycles, which means an increased need for safety awareness.
Cross County Connection found itself with a surplus of bike helmets, once the quarantine kicked in. What to DO with so many helmets?
We decided to donate them to local police departments in South Jersey. The police have long been a partner in the SRTS program and continued to operate during this pandemic. Their desire to keep our community’s children safe did not waiver. We quickly teamed up with eight local departments who were more than thrilled to receive a bike helmet donation. Those departments included: Bellmawr, Gloucester, Egg Harbor Township, Riverside, Palmyra, Pennsville, Voorhees Township and Vineland Police Departments.
What’s more, we were able to take it a little further and join the Palmyra and Vineland Police Departments for a bike rodeo. Officer Omar Kendall was instrumental in putting together an event in Palmyra where he was able to give out the helmets to the local children. The Vineland PD held two rodeos where children near the event could come and get a fitting for a new helmet or learn how to safely fit the helmet they already had. After being fitted properly for the helmet, the children in Vineland were able to ride through three fun obstacle courses the police set up. Officer Matthew Garvey and Officer Louis Rivera were our champs in Vineland. They took the time to help the children ride through each course teaching them balance and agility, as well as to look for stop signs before entering the street on their bikes.
I am happy to say that the summertime events were very successful. We were able to donate 280 helmets! With this great success, and a very rewarding experience for all, Cross County Connection has decided to continue to donate more helmets to police departments in our South Jersey region. So, stay tuned, we may be in your local area soon.
Interested in setting up a police department led bike safety rodeo and helmet-donation program in your town? Call us at: 856-596-8228, or email me, Michele Geiger, at: Geiger@driveless.com.