Local mountain bike enthusiasts, New Haven PD give back to a family in need this holiday


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — A group of local mountain bike enthusiasts is giving back to a family in need this holiday with the help of the New Haven police.

Team U is a local mountain biking group that is made up of doctors, teachers, lawyers and all kinds of professionals in the working world. And because they feel they have made it in life, they wanted to give back.

The local group started a procession from Science Park’s parking lot to the Sheffield Avenue home to deliver presents to a family.

Each child received a gift and several were given bicycles. The mother was presented with a check.

Team U formed a nonprofit organization and worked with members of the New Haven Police Department to find a needy family they could help.

Over the years, the family has developed a close relationship with East Rock District Manager Lieutenant Manmeet Colon who got them connected to Team U.

Robert Strickland of Team U says the idea popped up about five years ago and this is the first year they’ve been able to give back. “We all agreed that it’s time to give back to our community. I’m a firm believer that when you make it, you give back.”

“I’m definitely appreciative, grateful and hopefully my kids think back on this one day and pay it forward,” says mother Wakeesha Sloan.

Some of the riders have been together for two decades. Their self-funded non-profit that will soon be certified is called I Ride To Make a Difference Foundation. The riders say the goal is for others to pay it forward down the road.

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