Local Advocacy Group Hosts Free Bike Rehab
Gainesville, FL -- Volunteers from the University of Florida and several local businesses learned what it means to literally put in the elbow grease as they repaired close to three dozen bicycles.
The southwest advocacy group known as SWAG helps to improve the lives of residents in a community plagued by some of the highest rates of crime, poverty, and gang activity in Alachua County.
Today they hosted Bicycle Rehab 2013 as volunteers cleaned, pumped, greased, and repaired bikes all at no charge.
25 bikes were donated to children at SWAG's third annual Bicycle Rehabilitation, and several other bikes from previous year's events were repaired.
The event centered on being healthy in more ways than one.
While waiting for their new bikes, kids took a lunch break to learn about easy and inexpensive healthy foods.
"What we're doing is community transformation, and we're doing it in a very efficient way and seeing some very tremendous changes," Bike Rehabilitation creator Rajeeb Das said.
SWAG focuses on improving overall health, offering everything from homework help for kids to information on community issues.
"Understanding all of the different opportunities that are afforded to people is very important, and sometimes we don't understand all the different opportunities that are out there and available to us" SWAG Board Member Tony Delisle said.
The kids also learned the importance of bike safety.
Volunteers from the Gainesville City Public Works Department donated bike locks, bells, visibility vests and helmets, and taught children about biking safety.
"They love it. I can see them already riding their bikes around the neighborhood and I think its a great way to get some independence, have some freedom." Das said, "You know as a kid that's what a bicycle does for you, so I'm excited for them."
For more information on SWAG's efforts, and to learn how you can get involved, visit their website, http://swadvocacygroup.org/
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