Bike-building marathon turns scrap into gifts for kids in need

Volunteers make repairs to old bikes at Rossbrook House for kids in need.
Volunteers make repairs to old bikes at Rossbrook House for kids in need. Mike Arsenault/Global News

A 24-hour bike build is bringing hundreds of volunteer mechanics and supporters together this weekend to make gifts for kids in need.

As part of the sixth annual Cycle of Giving, The WRENCH is taking children’s bikes from the Brady landfill, and turning them into more than 350 presents.

“If we can show a kid how to repair a bike, how to ride a bike safely, give them a zest for a bike because we cleaned it and gave them a card instead of sending it out the door and saying ‘it’s good enough,’ that gives them appreciation for the bike, and maybe for what they can do on that bike,” said WRENCH staffer Anders Annell.

During the build, The WRENCH is also hoping to raise $15,000 to put towards bike programming for Winnipeg youth.

For the first time ever, the event is being held at Rossbrook House, a 24-hour safe space for youth. Some of the youth who use the space are helping to build the bikes, and some will end up as the gift recipients.

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“This has been a place lots of people have flocked to. Lots of people in our volunteer base haven’t been here before. For them this is an eye-opener to see Rossbrook House,” said Annell.

The WRENCH is partnering with more than 20 schools, daycares and social agencies in the city, to make sure the bikes find new homes.