LIHUE — Even the smallest gesture can go a long way.
The YWCA of Kauai received a donation of five bicycles as well as helmets and reflective bands Wednesday.
“The YWCA is always grateful to have any kind of support from our community, the county and the Bikes on Rice program,” said KipuKai Kuali’i, YWCA of Kauai director of operations.
“It’s pretty awesome. I think the more people we get riding bikes — with Rice Street and everything we have here, being more walkable and everything — our clients can take advantage of that as well.”
The bicycles will go toward helping the YWCA’s clients.
“Some of the bikes will be going to our shelter program. A lot of those clients are without their own transportation,” said Mia Carroll, YWCA of Kauai shelter director.
“I would say (the bikes for) personal use for our clients is a huge benefit for them. Many of our clients have limited resources. So, to be given a bike and be able to get around, go to their appointments and be more self-sufficient (can aid them).”
The donation was put together by a group of people from Get Fit Kauai’s Bikes on Rice program in collaboration with local shop Briggs Bicycles.
“The way it started, I have a lot of bicycles. I go in there and hang out with (Briggs Bicycles owner Briggs Knott) and learn how to work on my bicycles,” said Jim Benkert, Bikes on Rice program coordinator.
“There’s all these old bikes there that are of no use. I’ve been working on these old bikes, just fixing them up — putting new tubes, brake cables and stuff. Why don’t we just give them away? So, we decided, ‘Let’s give them to the YWCA.’”
Benkert added he’s got a handful of other bikes he’s working on that he hopes to donate.
As for Wednesday’s donation, he just hopes they’ll be of use to people who need them.
“We don’t know, as bike shop guys and bike riders, who needs these the most. They (the YWCA) deal with people every day who have needs that we’re not equipped to identify. They are,” he said.
“There’s no strings attached. They do with whatever they think they need to do with them. Whoever can best use them, that’s where we want them to go.”