In an event headed by the Karsh Family Social Service Center on April 2, KYCC families received bikes through a joint Bikes for Tykes program. Karsh generously provided new bikes, helmets, lights and locks to children from KYCC’s Menlo Family Center, many of whom are owning bikes for the first time.

The Karsh Center, a humanitarian branch of the Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Koreatown, is committed to community and service, especially in a neighborhood where residents have intensive needs. For their latest philanthropic project, Bikes for Tykes, Karsh invited KYCC and other agencies’ families to participate in the event at their Glazer Campus on Wilshire. Karsh volunteers and staff supplied 50 bikes, 30 of which were allotted to KYCC families and kids.

The volunteer-led event provided refreshments and meals for families in addition to unboxing, assembling and doing mechanic work on the new bikes. The bikes themselves were donated to the Karsh Center by Helen’s Cycles and I. Martin Cycles. Event staff and families of the recipients surprised the kids by making posters with their names to mount on their new bikes.

To apply for the bike giveaway, parents filled out profiles of their children with information such as name, gender, age, favorite color, favorite things to do and what it would mean to the child to receive a new bike. Many parents expressed hopes for their children to become more active, independent and to recall happy childhood memories, as many of them have never owned bikes or have not owned bikes since moving to the city. Mostly, parents were eager and thankful for the happiness the bikes brought their children.

“Owning a bicycle is a privilege that every kid should be able to have and I believe that I speak on behalf of all the families that benefitted from the Bikes for Tykes event in expressing the gratitude of this amazing opportunity that the Karsh Center provided for the families that we work with,” said Oscar Solano, a Menlo staff member who coordinated the event.