NORTH POLE — This just in from Santa’s workshop in the North Pole: Santa’s elves will be gathering in West Chester on Thursday, December 6, to help build bikes at the workshop of remodeling firm Pine Street Carpenters.
It’s all part of Pine Street’s “100 Wheels Project,” a community outreach initiative dedicated to providing bikes to deserving children in the community. This year marks Pine Street’s 11th annual bike-build. 845 bikes have been built and donated since the project’s inception in 2008, and Pine Street plans to add over 100 bikes to that total this year.
“We couldn’t do it without Santa’s help,” said Mike Dolan, marketing manager for Pine Street Carpenters. “While the big man himself won’t be able to make it – understandably, it is a busy time of year for him – we will have over one-hundred elves helping us out this year. And they do make pretty quick work of the bikes – elves know their way around a workshop.”
Within just a few hours, all 100 bicycles will be assembled and ready for delivery to non-profit organizations in the community. Prior to the event, Pine Street partners with local social service agencies and non-profit organizations to identify families and children in need. Bicycles are purchased for each child identified and, once assembled, delivered to the local organizations. Some organizations distribute the bikes at holiday parties. Others work with parents to make sure a shiny new bike makes its way next to the Christmas tree on Christmas morning.
“These non-profit organizations are a true gift,” says Santa. “Each year my elves and I do the best we can to spread Christmas cheer, but we rely on the help of so many wonderful organizations too. They work year-round to help those with the greatest need.”
This year, Santa’s elves and Pine Street will be working with ten non-profit agencies in the region, including: Family Services of Chester County (West Chester); Friends Association for the Care and Protection of Children (West Chester); Saint Agnes Day Room (West Chester); The Care Center (West Chester); Chester County Family Academy (West Chester); People’s Pantry at Church Road (Malvern); Family Services of Montgomery County (Norristown); Stewart Middle School (Norristown); Home of the Sparrow (Exton); and La Comunidad Hispana (Kennett Square).
In addition to the bikes, helmets and bike locks are also donated to accompany many of the bicycles. Many of the helmets were provided through a grant from the Kids Injury Prevention Program at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children.
The success of Pine Street’s bike-build hinges not only on Santa’s elves and its non-profit partners, but also on Pine Street’s friends, clients, and industry partners. Many local businesses contribute to the success of the 100 Wheels Project by sponsoring a bike. Local partners this year include: Allen Cook’s Barber Shop, Arthur Hall Insurance, Chapman Windows and Doors, O’Rouke and Sons, Michael Strayer Plumbing, and Mop-Ups Cleaning Services, all of West Chester; Marvel Masonry of West Grove; and Lambert Spawn of Coatesville.
This year’s bike-build will take place from 5PM-9PM on December 6 at Pine Street Carpenters, 901 S. Bolmar St., Suite N, West Chester, PA 19382. Given the number of Santa’s elves already helping out, the event has reached maximum capacity and cannot accommodate additional volunteers this year. Donations of helmets and bike locks are still welcome and can be dropped off at Pine Street’s kitchen showroom on Bolmar Street.
“I really wish I could be there to help with this year’s bike-build,” said Santa. “Unfortunately, I know the need will still be there next year, so I think I’ll start getting my wrenches and ratchets ready now.”
To learn more about Pine Street’s “100 Wheels Project,” visit www.bikebuild.org or call Pine Street Carpenters at 610.430.3333.
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