For the past 17 seasons, the Chargers Impact Fund has teamed up with the Bikes For Kids Foundation to donate thousands of bikes to deserving youth during the holiday season and with 2020 bringing more than its fair share of challenges, the event colloquially known as "Bikes For Kids" became more important than ever.
While past bike giveaways were usually held in school auditoriums and gyms, the team pivoted in 2020. Given the fact that most Los Angeles area students are still practicing virtual learning meant the Chargers would have to get creative on where and how to get bikes into the hands of kids and their families.
Thankfully, the team was able to partner with one of the top community partners – the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro L.A. – to arrange distributions at their Challengers, Watts-Willowbrook, and Bell Gardens locations. Families were able to safely drive up and pop their trunks for a Boys & Girls Club staff member to place the bike in their vehicle.
"We're so thrilled to be able to keep this community tradition going for the 18th year," said Chase Hartman, Chargers community relations manager. "It's obviously been a little different, but the looks on the kids' faces when they receive a brand new bike is still just as priceless as ever."
In addition to partnering with the clubs, Chargers corporate partner, Pechanga Resort Casino, took the event to the next level by generously offering to match the team's donations for a total of 200 bikes, helmets, and bike locks.
"Southern California has been home to the Pechanga people for thousands of years, so we are proud to continue the long tradition of helping our community," said Jared Munoa, President of the Pechanga Development Corporation. "Our Tribe knows what it's like to struggle, and we've all seen our share of challenges this year. But together we are persevering, just like those who came before us. That's why we are proud to partner with the Boys & Girls Club to provide 200 deserving children with a brand new bicycle just in time for the holidays."
However, there was still one thing missing from this year's "Bikes for Kids" event…Chargers players! Thankfully Bolts' CB Michael Davis was able to attend virtually via the team's community robot to wish the families happy holidays and encourage the kids to practice good bike safety.
All in all, this was one tradition the Chargers Community Relations Department was proud to keep going in 2020.
Every holiday season for more than 15 years, the Chargers Impact Fund has partnered with the nonprofit Bikes for Kids to provide bicycles to children in Southern California. And while it looked different than in years past, we weren't going to let COVID stop one of our favorite events. Thanks to the generous support of Pechanga Resort Casino, 200 children received shiny new bicycles, bike helmets and locks this past Friday. The drive-thru event also featured a surprise appearance by Chargers cornerback Michael Davis, who joined the event virtually to wish all the kids and their parents a happy holiday!