Tag Archives: Bike Angels

Burbank Bike Angels Celebrate 10 Years of Restoring Bikes

On Tuesday, December 18, the Burbank Bike Angels celebrated their tenth Christmas, displaying restored bikes on the steps of Burbank City Hall, located at 275 E. Olive Ave. 

(Photo By Timothy Malby)

Every year, the Bike Angels volunteer their time to restore used bicycles to provide for kids who come from less fortunate households.

The program has expanded over the years, supplying over 200 bikes every holiday season through various local non-profits, such as the Salvation Army, Family Service Agency, the Boys and Girls Club, and Penny Lane. Partnering with the Burbank Police Officers Association has provided new bike helmets, encouraging safety throughout the community. With the help of the Fire Department, bikes are transported around town.

Elaine Pease, Director of the Burbank Bike Angels, recounted the story of when she started the program a decade ago. Originally, the program only restored a few bikes at a time.

(Photo By Timothy Malby)

“Ten years ago, around Christmastime, there were a few tags left on the Salvation Army Christmas tree and they were for bikes. It happened to be at a time when the economy was very bad, and I thought these poor kids will never get bikes,” said Pease.

“I knew some people who could fix bikes, if I could get used ones we could fix them up and make them look nice. The idea just took off, and every year we got requests for more and more.”

Several volunteers were in attendance as City Council members voiced their appreciation for the selfless work of those involved with the program.

“About 8 years ago, the Bike Angels sent out a flyer to my middle school and I thought it might be fun,” said Alexander deCruz, a volunteer. “I started showing up, and learned how to clean bikes and repair them. I’ve met so many great people. I’ve been coming back ever since.”

(Photo By Timothy Malby)

Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy, who has been in City Council since the Bike Angels began, is grateful such a group exists in the community.

“It is one of those events that bring a lot of our community together in support of kids who otherwise don’t have any opportunity to get a bicycle,” said Mayor Gabel-Luddy.

“If there’s one thing I can say about Burbank, it’s that when folks hold together, that is the reward to everyone who lives here, that brings a smile to a child’s face.”

Throughout their 10 years, the Bike Angels have restored more than 1,700 bicycles.

On Friday, December 21, the Bike Angels will be at the Burbank Salvation Army from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. to give away the refurbished bikes.

The non-profit group is always accepting new volunteers to help clean formerly owned bikes and pump tires. More information can be found at the Bike Angels’ Facebook page.

Bike Angels and Angel Tree Projects Seek Volunteers

The best part of the holidays is giving and the Salvation Army, Burbank Corps, has several opportunities to make local children’s spirits brighter this Christmas season.

Volunteers are needed to take shifts for the Salvation Army’s  “Angel Tree” Project.

Chair Elaine Paonessa is recruiting adults and teens to sit with the Angel Tree at the Burbank Town Center on the third floor near the Burlington Coat Factory store.

L-R Asleigh Viers, Dr. Charlene Thorburn, and Elaine Paonessa.

L-R Asleigh Viers, Dr. Charlene Thorburn, and Elaine Paonessa.

Customers select an Angel Tree card with specific information on a child and what is on his or her wish list. The customer purchases an item and returns it with the card to the Angel Tree location. The Salvation Army then distributes the gift to the child’s family just before Christmas.

Volunteers are needed to give a minimum of two-hour shifts between the hours of 10 a.m. and 8 p.m. from Nov. 28 through Dec. 23. To participate, call Paonessa at (818) 845-6851.

“I have a lot of women and couples that have given hours to this project in the past and they come back every year, but there is always room for more volunteers,” Paonessa said.

This project is also an opportunity for local students looking for ways to receive community service hours.

“The Burbank High School Key Club members are regularly involved with the project and they receive community service hours,” she said.

Local businesses, like Thorburn Chiropractic, place Angel Tree cards on their office holiday tree each year, Paonessa said, and clients purchase gifts and return them to the business. Salvation Army volunteers pick up donations.

The Salvation Army helps hundreds of children and their families have a happier Christmas by collecting food, clothing and toys. For more information on Salvation Army programs, call (818) 845-7214.

L to R - Elaine Pease, Chairman of the “Bike Angels “ Doug Remington , Major Bike Donor, and Elaine Paonessa, “Angel Tree” Coordinator (Picture courtesy of Elaine Paonessa)

L to R – Elaine Pease, Chairman of the “Bike Angels “ Doug Remington , Major Bike Donor, and Elaine Paonessa, “Angel Tree” Coordinator (Picture courtesy of Elaine Paonessa)

Another holiday program of the Salvation Army is the Bike Angels, which provides new or refurbished bicycles to underprivileged children each year. Last year 150 bikes were provided to local children, Paonessa said.

“Under the leadership of Elaine Pease, many city employees, families and friends have spent endless hours refurbishing the used bicycles and assembling the new ones,” Paonessa said. Along with the bicycles, youngsters receive helmets.

To donate bicycles that are new or that need to be refurbished, call Pease at (818) 238-5286.

Bike Angels Come Through Again for City’s Youth

Members of the all-volunteer Bike Angels program displayed dozens of refurbished bicycles on the front steps of Burbank City Hall Friday morning prior to the bikes being donated to less fortunate children.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Bike Angels program, which began five years ago, is comprised of active and retired City of Burbank employees, local residents, members of the business community, school children and many others who restore used bicycles to like-new condition which are then given to non-profit groups who distribute them during the holiday season.

Burbank groups such as the Burbank Temporary Aid Center, Burbank Boys & Girls Club and the Family Service Agency benefited from the work of over 60 volunteers who work year round to restore the bikes.

Elaine Pease the founder & Director of The Bike Angel Program (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Elaine Pease the founder and Director of The Bike Angel Program (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

In addition to putting smiles on children’s faces, the Bike Angels program promotes healthy exercise, reduces landfill waste, and helps lower air pollution by reducing automobile trips.

The program, which started about five years ago, collects bike which are donated at the Burbank Recycling Center, then volunteers spend an average of $30 per bike to bring it back to life. They have put about 400 bikes back into service for needy Burbank children.

The collecting has already started for next year’s delivery.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Bike Angels Makes Christmas for Burbank Kids Heavenly

Burbank’s Bike Angels gathered this week to deliver 146 bikes they had fixed, shinned and prepared for delivery this Christmas.

Elaine Pease program founder and Lt. Kari Rudd from The Salvation Army during media event (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The Bike Angels consist of city employees, retired and current, and several other volunteers from all over the city.  A couple of years ago Elaine Pease, a City of Burbank Employee in the Code Enforcement Division, came up with the idea to fix and repair old bikes and donate them to the Salvation Army to be given out to kids that would not normally get a bike because of costs.

This year’s bikes came in from everywhere.  A couple were from the police evidence locker and not claimed some were just donated from Burbank residents, with a couple even donated by construction workers who are

The collection of over 125 bikes to be given away as Christmas Gifts (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

completing the renovations at the Police and Fire Headquarters. The Burbank Police Officers Association donated helmets and locks to be given away and the Burbank Firefighters Association donated funds for the needed parts for each bike.

The Bike Angels gathered nightly, sometimes before and after their normal work shifts, they shinned, polished and made whatever repairs were needed.  They completed their task of being Angels to 146 kids who will sometimes receive a bike for the first time. This year, Lochkeed Federal Credit Union has become a corporate sponsor and donated a $1,000 for parts and needed supplies and tools.

The bikes were all transported to the Salvation Army for distribution this Thursday when Santa arrives with other goodies.




Burbank Bike Angels get Corporate Sponsor Lochkeed Federal Credit Union (Photo by Ross A. Benson)