On Saturday June 13, Knights of Columbus Council 5423 Holy Cross held a Bicycle Drive and Clinic at John Paul II Centre in the South Cambie area of Vancouver, where used bikes were accepted to be refurbished and distributed to the poor so they can go for groceries, jobs, schooling and medical appointments.
60 adult and 43 kid bikes will go to Vancouver area recipients via REC for Kids; 5 adult and 6 kid bikes to Namibia in southern Africa via
Bicycles for Humanity; and 14 unusable adult bikes to the Vancouver Zero Waste Centre/Recycling Depot; for a grand total of 128 bikes, compared to 87 from last year’s collection at Holy Cross Church & School in northwest Burnaby, and as many as 300 at once since this annual event began in North Vancouver in 2006. About 8 visitors also brought in their current bicycles for a free checkup.
Maintaining social distancing and other precautions, organizers went ahead Saturday despite COVID-19 and other challenges, since Charity should remain a priority even in rough times, that are always hardest on the poor. The dozen or so volunteer participants declared themselves well-satisfied with this year’s event and look forward to the next, wherever it is to be held in Spring 2021.
Founded in 1882 by Father Michael J. McGivney (recently approved for beatification–one step short of sainthood–as announced by Pope Francis), the Knights of Columbus is an international fraternal organization of Catholic gentlemen in service to Church and Community. Council 5423 is based at Holy Cross Parish in Burnaby.
Since 2007, R.E.C. for Kids Society has collected used sports equipment to be refurbished and redistributed to those in need, particularly
underprivileged youth nominated by referral organizations through out the Lower Mainland.
Starting in 2005 in Whistler BC, Bicycles for Humanity now has 50 chapters worldwide that collect and ship bicycles for distribution to
developing communities in Africa, Mexico and Central America. B4H Vancouver is currently fundraising to ship the next container-full of bikes to Namibia.
These three organizing partners for this year thank the Archdiocese of Vancouver for use of the JPII Centre; Key West Ford in New Westminster for loan of a delivery vehicle; and Columbus Charities for providing lunch and a generous donation towards delivering bikes overseas.
We also thank the various local newspapers and broadcasters who helped publicize the event, and all the donors who dropped off their well-loved bikes with us that day (including 32 from KofC Council 10681 in Richmond alone!): indeed we’ll find them a good home.
For more information, contact Graham Darling at gjd@GrahamJDarling.com