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Teacher hopes to buy every child in her school a bike for Christmas

All 650 kids will have their own personalised set of wheels if popular crowdfunding effort succeeds

An elementary school teacher in South Carolina is to buy each and every one of the children in her school - a cool 650 kids - a bicycle for Christmas.

Katie Blomquist, a first grade teacher at Pepperhill Elementary is raising funds for her project, which she says her children are all excited about.

She told ABC News: "I literally think about it every day in my classroom, telling these kids that they're going to get a new bike and how much they're going to freak out.

”In my mind, that's why I wanted to do Christmas because I thought it'd be the best gift."

Most of the children come from low income families.

“One hundred percent get free breakfast and free lunch," she said. "It’s a high-need school and many of our students work very hard, but unfortunately are unable to have the basic childhood needs like a bike.”

She added: “The bike, it’s a pure, simple, childhood joy. I don’t want them to miss out on that.”

Blomquist came up with the idea when she discovered that one of the children in the class didn’t have a bike.

"His home life wasn't the best and I decided to start bonding with him and make him understand that there are lots of reasons to be a motivated student and why it's important," she said.

"I decided to take him out for his birthday to Walmart to get him some toys and he kept begging me for a bike. I said, 'I can't afford a bike, but I would if I could.’”

She started a GoFundMe campaign to buy two - one for him and his brother. Within a few weeks she had hit over $23,000 of her $65,000 goal and began to realise that her dream of buying bikes for all was a possibility.

Tanya Underwood, the principal of Pepperhill Elementary, said: "I'm just so thrilled that she's doing this project.

“She does more than teach every day. I love that she's doing this for the whole school and not just her classroom. It just shows how much she loves her community."

Affordabike Bicycle Shop in Charleston has offered to make the 650 custom bicycles with each child's name when Blomquist reaches her goal.

It is hoped that with a bike brand coming on board, Blomquist could even spread her bike buying to a neighbouring school in addition.

"I'd love to get as many donations as I could -- bikes, locks, helmets," she said. "I'll postpone the date until every child in the school could receive a bike. Instead of the best Christmas ever, it'd be the best end-of-the-year gift."

She continued, “Until every child gets a bike, I’m not going to stop.”

At the time of writing, the campaign had raised over $41,000.

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emishi55 | 7 years ago

Fabulous idea.

I hope the local infrastructure is up to ensuring children are safe getting around by bike - accomanied or otherwise. It would be nice to think that it is.

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