Location: Strathmore, Alberta
Putting the customers of Strathmore’s Drivers Collision autobody back into a good looking set of wheels is their business, but getting the local kids – and the occasional adult - an equally good looking pair of wheels is the passion of Dustin and Sarah Richards.
Along with Denise Geremia of the Li’l Hoots Consignment Boutique, this trio have formed a “tricycle” of caring, repairing and restoring donated bicycles and offering them free of charge to anyone who needs them. For the Richards, the initiative has become a family affair with Dustin and Sarah in charge of the mechanics and daughter Lilian and Annabelle ensuring quality control, test driving each 2-wheeler to ensure a smooth ride for the new owner. The beefed-up bikes are then turned over to Denise who distributes them through the Li’l Hoots boutique. Denise also maintains a confidential website where families in need can connect with the program.
Along with the time and talent necessary to restore the bikes, Dustin, Sarah and Denise are also picking up most of the repair costs. To date, 18 bikes have gotten a new lease on life – and happy and thankful new owners. The bikes would probably say thank you as well, if a bicycle spoke!
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