Tag Archives: volunteer

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.

Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign Begins

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

On November 20, the Salvation Army’s Burbank Corps continued their annual Christmas fundraiser known as the “Red Kettle Campaign,” which raises money for the poor and homeless, among others who are often neglected during the holiday season.

Red kettles have been placed in 13 locations throughout Burbank to collect donations until Christmas Eve when funds will be distributed. The kettles can be found outside all four Ralph’s, Vons on Pass Ave., Pavilions, Hobby Lobby, Handy Market, and inside the parking lot of Macy’s.

“The economy has made it a rough year for many families, and we’ve seen it firsthand in the numbers of people coming to us for help,” said Lt. Jeremy Baker.

(Photo by © Ross A Benson)

“It’s especially hard during the holiday season, with people losing their jobs, their homes and not knowing how they will provide for their families. That’s when The Salvation Army steps in to help. But to keep pace with the need, we must rely on generous people in our community to open their hearts with a donation to help their struggling neighbors.”

This year, the Red Kettle Campaign is centered around the theme, “I’ll Fight for Good,” highlighting the individual effort that goes into positively impacting the community.

The Salvation Army’s Burbank Corps anticipates raising $70,000 which will fund local programs and services, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners for those who won’t be able to celebrate on their own. Other donations will fund the Burbank Corps’ after-school program which engages with local youth.

A press release from the Salvation Army suggests that those who are interested in volunteering this holiday season should visit burbank.salvationarmy.org or contact Lt. Brittany Baker at 818-845-7214.