Four years ago, Matthew Wagonhurst founded the annual Santa Barbara Sports Drive, a local sports equipment and clothing drive designed to help get kids off the street and into sports, increase membership in the Boys and Girls Clubs, and recycle sports equipment. Through the effort he started, thousands of gently used or new pieces of sports equipment and items of clothing have been donated directly to over 1500 kids in the community. Bicycles which are available in a raffle have always been a big hit and in big demand but unlike most donations, they need to be checked up by experts to make sure that they are in safe & working condition.
This year, a collaboration between the Bike Monkeys from Santa Barbara Middle School, a group of students from SBici (bike club at SBHS) and volunteers from Bici Centro worked on the “bike part” of the popular and well attended SB Sports Drive. For the last 2 months, 10-15 youth hosted weekly repair at Bici Centro and SBHS to do an overall tune-up of the 35 donated bikes. A lot of work and not always an easy task! Finally on Friday afternoon, the trailer was loaded and driven over to the back parking lot of the Boys & Girls Club.
On Saturday morning, four bilingual volunteers from the Spanish Language Outreach committee of the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition were on the blacktop fitting new helmets on the head of each “winner” and educating young riders and their parents about proper riding etiquette. Youth from SBHS & SBMS were also present to help out and witness the big smiles on everybody's faces. Thanks to the staff at the Boys & Girls Club who helped with the selection of families at Franklin Elementary School & other schools on the Eastside: all winners finally became the proud owner of a bicycle and for some of them, it was their first bike ever! What an exciting day for all of us!
Article from the local news