With 30 bicycles donated on his first collection day, Edmonds Boy Scout Sam Harris is getting closer to his goal of doubling the number of bikes for distribution to local families in need at the Edmonds Toy Shop.
For his Troop 312 Eagle Project, 16-year-old Harris is working to double the number of gently-used or new bikes given last year to local underprivileged kids from about 50 to more than 100 this year. Bikes will be distributed at the Edmonds Toy Shop on Dec. 9 at Edmonds United Methodist Church.
“Our troop volunteers at the Toy Shop every year, so I’ve seen what a difference these donations mean to families,” Harris said. “That and my interest in bicycling is what inspired me to do this Eagle Project. If we ‘Double the Bikes’ we can double the amount of kids in need that have a better holiday this year.”
Harris’ second collection day is this weekend. If you have a gently used or new bike to donate, you can drop it off on Sunday, Nov. 19, from noon to 4 p.m., at Edmonds United Methodist Church, 828 Caspers Street, Edmonds. Or contact Harris at 425-775-7022 or by email at email@example.com. He is also collecting cash donations for purchasing bike helmets at www.youcaring.com/edmondsunitedmethodistchurchtoyshop-992840.
The Toy Shop helps parents who can’t afford to purchase a bike or other toys to “shop” with dignity. The bikes mean a lot, giving kids the gift of exercise, recreation and, for teenagers, a way to get to school, work, or other activities.
More than 300 families and 1,000 kids benefit from the EUMC Toy Shop every year, which serves parents in need who are already receiving services through the Edmonds Food Bank and/or Washington Kids In Transition, which serves homeless families in the Edmonds School District. Parents who otherwise couldn’t afford holiday presents for their kids can shop for toys, bikes, books and warm coats.
Harris’ Eagle Scout project involves collection events, and getting the word out about how cool it is to donate a bike. He is leveraging the social networks of his friends, fellow Scouts, their parents, church members, and the local media. He and other Scouts from his Troop clean and do minor repairs on the donated, gently-used bikes. For bikes that might need more than a minor repair, Harvy Massoud of Harvy’s Bike Shop in Lynnwood helps fix bikes for the Toy Shop, generously donating his time and materials each year to this great cause.
To learn more about the Edmonds Toy Shop or to donate other toys, visit www.facebook.com/EdmondsToyShop or contact Pamela Frank at 425-582-1732.