Full Circle Cyclery spreads Christmas cheer with bike giveaway
The holidays are a time when we all look to give back a little, to share the blessings of our own lives with others.
For some people that means donating time to local organizations or food and toys to Grand County based non-profits. For VJ and Sue Valente, owners and operators of Full Circle Cyclery in Granby, that means working to refurbish used donated bicycles so they can be given away. Full Circle Cyclery, located at 229 West Agate Ave. in Granby, holds an annual Holiday Bike Giveaway program during the Christmas season. The Holiday Bike Giveaway is a cooperative program between Full Circle Cyclery and the Mountain Family Center in Granby.
“Usually Mountain Family Center sends folks over here with a coupon,” VJ Valente said. “If it is meant to be a surprise mom and dad will come down on their own and pick out one for their kids.”
Valente talked about how important it was to him to help provide children with a bicycle at Christmas time.
“Growing up bikes were always a huge thing, especially at Christmas. You can’t go ride the next day but it is a great gift for kids. We end up with a lot of used bikes and we try to refurbish them as best as possible.”
The program has been in operation for about six years according to Valente. Full Circle Cyclery receives donated children’s bikes on a regular basis that the store refurbishes with new tubes, tires, grips and other sundry items. Each year at Christmas time Mountain Family Center provides vouchers to their clients for the Holiday Bike Giveaway.
“Every kid should have a bike,” said Mandy Schott, Assistant Director and Family Advocate at Mountain Family Center. “If we know the need is there a lot of times we will suggest it.” According to Schott the program started when the Valente’s approached the Mountain Family Center about starting a bike donation program.
The number of bikes given away by Full Circle Cyclery every year varies. “Our best year was about 24 bikes,” Valente said. “The least we have given away was around 6. We give away between 12 to 15 bikes as an average every year.” The bikes are donated to children of all ages from the very young through high school.
“We love working with folks,” said Valente. “However we can.”
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