$10 donation buys a bike helmet! $125 donation buys a bike and a helmet!
Or send check or money order made payable to Bike Free and mail to:
309 J Limestone Valley Drive
Cockeysville, Maryland 21030
Thank you for donating to Bike Free!
Your donation helps get a bike (and helmet) to a kid who needs to feel the freedom, fun and joy of riding a bike.
You can also support Bike Free by hosting a benefit event in your town and supporting our Friends and Sponsors.
(Letting us pitch our tents in your yard and feeding us would also be great!)
THANK YOU for your donation and support!
August 15, 2010 blog post - Help us get bikes for the kids
So far, we’ve had 15,450 visits to the Bike Free website. People like following us as we bike across the USA, looking at the pictures, watching the videos, and reading about the places we visit and the people we meet.
But, there is a greater story beyond Adam & Paul’s Big Adventure.
The main characters of the greater Bike Free story are not Adam and me; they are:
The kids whose parents leave to serve in Iraq or Afghanistan and don’t come back
The kids who visit their parents in VA hospitals, rehab centers, and nursing homes
The kids who have parents who keep getting deployed — again and again
The kids who fear that their parent won’t return from another deployment
The kids who are scared their parent will never get well
The kids who wait at home uncertain of what will happen to their family in the future
Riding a bicycle is fun, brings good times and good memories, and can help ease the pain when life is difficult and hard and unfair. So, it’s for these kids that Bike Free is about.
Our goal is 1,000 bikes and helmets for military kids and to reach this goal we need to raise $125,000.
Everyone we’ve met and heard from has been supportive of our goal. Helping children has no boundaries and people from every political persuasion and bent are cheering us on, opening up their homes to us, feeding us, and warmly welcoming us into their cities and neighborhoods.
We are humbled and extremely grateful for the generous hospitality, kindness, and encouragement we are receiving. Still, Bike Free is all about the kids and we need donations to get bikes for the kids.
15,450 visits to the Bike Free website and TV, radio, and print coverage in almost every place we’ve been. Yet, our donations to date are enough for just 50 bikes.
So Adam and I ask each one of you to send $1. Or you can donate $10 – that will buy a helmet. $125 will provide a bike and helmet. Or, throw a Bike Free fund-raising event (BBQ, dance party, bicycle rodeo, golf tournament, there are endless ways to party) — that would be great! So would a jar to collect donations at your place of business (think Steve Martin in My Blue Heaven).
Be part of Bike Free’s mission of spreading the joy, freedom, and fun that riding a bike brings. Bikes are good and kids need that goodness in their lives.
Celeste Zappala’s grief over her son’s death is compounded by the pain of watching her grandson grow up without a father.
“When I see my grandson, now 14 years old, and looking more like his Dad everyday, I ache for the years of a loving Father he has lost.” said Zappala,Philadelphia, PA whose son, Sgt. Sherwood Baker, was killed in Iraq on April 26, 2004, “His Dad died in Iraq five years ago, and he is navigating growing to manhood with out the best role model there could ever be. I look at this quiet, guarded boy and think he did not agree to lose his father in a senseless war, and yet his loss has turned out to be the greatest sacrifice of all.”
Zappala and other members of Military Families Speak Out (MFSO) are reflecting on the toll the war in Iraq has taken on children growing up in military families.
Annie McCabe of Minneapolis, MN, who serves on MFSO’s Board of Directors, stated,
“My husband deployed when my son was 16-months-old, and we were told by both the Army and any ‘experts’ I could find that he was too young to notice what was going on. They weren’t the ones waking up in the middle of the night to broken-hearted cries of ‘Daddy!’ or spending the next 16 months literally peeling a toddler off their neck every time they needed time alone. When my husband was home on leave and people would thank him for his service, I wanted to scream at them ‘Thank my son!’ He’s paying the highest price.
“Two years later, we’re still dealing with the repercussions: age-inappropriate separation anxiety, crying some nights before bed that Mom or Dad will get on an airplane and never come home. Even at four, I cannot explain to him that Daddy never wanted to leave him, but did. That it won’t happen again; that he can relax and be four. We’re one of the lucky military families – we’re not facing another deployment. This has been incredibly hard, and will remain with him for the rest of his life.”
The sons and daughters of service-members are not the only American children suffering as a result of the war in Iraq — children also suffer when their sisters and brothers are sent to war. Elaine Brower, another member of Military Families Speak Out from Staten Island, New York is the mother of a Marine Corps Reservist now serving in Iraq. She has watched her son’s three deployments — two to Iraq and one to Afghanistan — take a heavy toll on her daughter. Brower said,
“My son and daughter were inseparable as kids. They slept in the same room until they were pre-teens, sharing a bunk bed and laughing all night, until I really needed to get some rest. My daughter loved her older brother, and he was her companion, since I was a single mom for a very long time. She followed him around as a toddler, up until he enlisted in the Marine Corps. at the age of 17, she was 15. When he was first deployed, she became a changed daughter and sibling. At 17 she locked herself in her room, became totally unsocial with everyone, and always sullen. She started writing dark stories and painted sad pictures. Her response to his calls home were in anger, she wouldn’t speak with him. Now, on his third tour, my daughter, although 25, cries at the mention of her brother. To her credit, she became a high school teacher, but remains sullen and sad. Reality hit her at a very young age, and changed her forever.”
McCabe remains deeply concerned about the continuing impact of the war in Iraq on military children
“… Kids are facing parents’ multiple deployments like never before, and living in a world that doesn’t understand their struggles, because most Americans are barely aware of the war that is at home every night for military families.”