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Giving with ‘no strings attached:’ Volunteers build 100 bikes for area children

By Taylor Thompson

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    BREVARD, North Carolina (WLOS) — Sunday served as a busy afternoon for many Brevard residents at Oskar Blues.

The nonprofit organization Can’d Aid, along with Oskar Blues Brewery Taproom employees and local volunteers came together to build bikes for every first grader at Brevard Elementary School.

Can’d Aid is a nonprofit organization based out of Colorado that works nationally to provide healthy active outlets to underserved youth.

Alyssa Lile, Can’d Aid program director, said the organization’s motto is “fueled by people,” meaning they rally people to give back in their own community.

“We believe that everybody has the power to give back and do good and make a difference in their community,” Lile told News 13.

She added that the purpose behind building the bikes was that they can be a useful and important tool to get kids off screens and keep them healthy and active.

The organization has partnered with Oskar Blues for close to 10 years now.

Oskar Blues Senior Marketing Manager Aaron Baker said that the mission of Can’d Aid lined up with what they love at Oskar Blues — which is getting people on bikes.

The brewery sponsored the build for the 100 bikes that were put together Sunday.

The goal is for kids to have the opportunity to be inspired and motivated to stay active — something both the nonprofit and the brewery are passionate about.

“Being able to get out of the house, get some exercise, get away from whatever’s going on,” Baker said, “and it’s really great to be able to just gift that with no strings attached.”

Lile added that bikes provide the first sense of freedom one gets as a child.

Many volunteers who showed up to Oskar Blues to put together the bikes shared that they believed it’s important to provide kids with opportunities to get back on bikes.

“I love riding bikes, so I think being able to get anyone else on a bike is great as well,” said volunteer Colleen Maher.

Another volunteer, Bill Velhathaus, added that he was a big advocate for getting kids on bikes because it provides the freedom, mobility and better health that is needed.

On Monday, Dec. 12, Can’d Aid will be at Brevard Elementary School donating bikes to the first graders — for some, the first bikes they’ve ever owned. No strings attached.

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