Wishing Wheels: Guilford family spearheads effort to build bikes for kids in need

Connecticut Families

GUILFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — “I help out by building the bikes every single year,” says 11-year-old Abbey DellaVentura, referring to an event spearheaded by her family.

The DellaVenturas are getting ready for a bike build to support their community.

“This comes from a childhood experience I had growing up in which my family and about two or three other families on Christmas Eve would go out to the toy store and buy bikes,” John DellaVenturas explains, noting that the bikes would then be donated to local kids in need. “It was one of the best memories of the holidays.”

So, about five years ago, he started Wishing Wheels with his wife, Sarah, Chief Operating Officer at Bishop’s Orchards. It’s part of a larger non-profit called Roots 4 Relief.

“The idea behind Roots 4 Relief is to empower children to give back to others and teach them philanthropic values at a young age,” says Sarah.

They don’t collect used bikes for an important reason.

“For a lot of kids, it’s their only means to get outside, it’s freedom, it’s their only way of fitting in with other kids and a new bike does that,” explains John.

“We’re purchasing all the bikes ourselves so you can give $5.00, $25.00, up to, if you want to donate a whole bike, $200,” says Sarah.

“It’s fun to walk around in nature but it’s also fun to ride your bike around your town, your street,” adds Abbey.

The DellaVenturas have doubled their goal and aim to give bikes to 300 children connected to several social service agencies. Anyone can help build bikes next weekend.

“It’s emotional because you’re doing something for others,” says Sarah.

“We see the results and the results are that we have some happy kids,” says John.

When kids learn to give back, they’ll continue doing so…into adulthood.

“It’s kind of like Santa Claus, giving a toy to a child and putting a smile on their face,” says Abbey.

The bike build takes place December 18th at 10 a.m. at the Little Red Barn at Bishop’s Orchards.

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