NORFOLK, Va. — What better way to kick off summer vacation than with a free bicycle!
This morning, the Salvation Army teamed up with shipping company CMA CGM to give away almost 200 free bicycles to children across Hampton Roads.
Hampton Roads Salvation Army Area Commander Major Donald Dohmann said this big bicycle giveaway is just another way they're giving back to the community.
“For some of these kids this is their first one," Dohmann said. “They’re getting out of school, they have a lot of free time. So hopefully giving them a bike, a new bike, will not only help kick the summer off, but get them outside!”
Employees with both groups gave away 185 bikes to kids in Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Chesapeake.
The event was called the Bikes for Tykes Rodeo.
The CMA CGM Cycling Team escorted a massive trailer filled with bicycles to The Kroc Center before unloading dozens of bikes and giving them away to excited children.
CMA CGM’s Head of Sustainability Heather Wood said all of the bicycles were donated by CMA CGM employees, and the company provided a matching donation.
“Just the joy, the sheer joy both – seeing it in the kids eyes and my colleagues eyes," Wood said, when asked why the company decided to give back.
"Just the gift; The gift of transportation, the gift of fun, the gift of summer.”
Wood said this event reaffirms the company’s commitment to "acting for people."
Before they took their bikes home, kids got to test ride their new wheels in front of a cheering crowd.
The children also got free helmets donated by Trek Bicycles of Williamsburg.