When Habitat for Humanity Community Organizer, Alex Bidot, delivered a bike to Damian Lee on December 22, the 16 year-old boy dropped his “cool” façade, cracked a smile and excitedly asked, “For me? This is my bike?”
Damian Lee, his two siblings, and his mother Felicia Weaver live in Phoenix Place, the Habitat for Humanity community being built through UNC Build a Block. The Weaver family is one of nine families to receive a bike donated to Habitat for Humanity from the ReCYLEry NC, a local nonprofit that restores old bikes and teaches bike maintenance.
Habitat for Humanity raffled the bikes to families who attend Homeowner Association Meetings. Habitat for Humanity of Orange County has built six communities in the area, but families from the UNC Build a Block community of Phoenix Place won five of the nine donated bikes.
“A lot of the bikes went to Phoenix Place because (the community members) are all really involved,” Bidot said.
When Bidot delivered a bike to Phoenix Place homeowner Hla Hla Yi, she gave the bike to her kids and they hopped on immediately and took a spin around the cul-de-sac.
“The kids at Phoenix Place, they have a great little neighborhood to ride bikes in,” Bidot said.
Through their donation, the ReCYCLEry NC gave families the gifts of bikes, of transportation and of fun. While the donation benefits families, it also spreads word about the ReCYCLEry NC, Bidot said.
“The important message is that we’re networking organizations together to provide a lot of different services,” Bidot said. “It’s a holistic approach to improving the quality of life.”