Twenty-five children living in the high-needs community of Chester Le received new bicycles and helmets thanks to an ongoing green and healthy living partnership between the Dutch Consulate General and Toronto Community Housing.
The presentation marked the culmination of the second annual Go Green, Go Dutch, Go Bike!, an environmental awareness and fund-raising bike ride. Last year, children living in Lawrence Heights received 20 new bikes.
This year's ride, from the Humber River Bridge to the Harbourfront Community Centre back in May, raised $2,600 toward the purchase of the bicycles and helmets.
"This is a great partnership in that it promotes physical fitness and a green way of life, both of which are central to Dutch culture," said Astrid De Vries, Dutch Deputy Consul General. "It also extends a hand to those in need letting them know that there are people here to help."
Derek Ballantyne, CEO of Toronto Community Housing, highlighted the direct and meaningful impact of this partnership.
"These bikes will provide children with a renewed sense of play and fun. That's what childhood is all about," said Ballantyne. "More importantly, this is another example of how building safe and healthy communities goes beyond bricks and mortar. It's about improving quality of life and engaging tenants in their community."
Shortly after receiving the bicycles, the children were able to safely test out their new wheels in a bike rodeo, with experts teaching them the rules of the road.
With the majority of the 219 households in the community having children eligible to receive a bicycle (between 5 to 13 years), those interested were asked to submit a brief essay on what a healthy community means to them and how Toronto Community Housing and tenants can work together to make Chester Le a better community.