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‘More than just a bike:’ Jacksonville organizations gather to build 100s of bikes for Duval County

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Christmas is coming early for 300 lucky Duval County Public Schools students in need.

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On Friday, local organizations and volunteers all gathered at the Saint Johns Town Center to build 300 bikes for students in need at four lucky schools across Duval county as part of the Bikes for Kids Foundation. The bikes are made to handed out at four “title one schools” in less fortunate areas of the county.

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“The main issue, I think, being generational poverty,” explained Anthony Cadieux, Southeast Regional Director for the Bikes for Kids Foundation. “We have certain communities in this area that are very hard hit, and we need to do something to help these folks.”

Cadieux outlined on Friday at the event how each bike given out serves as a simple act of kindness for the volunteers involved, but means so much more to the children receiving them.

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“These kids don’t have any toys. They don’t have anything that is actually theirs. They’ve never experienced working to worth something and getting a reward for that,” explained Cadieux. “It’s a lot more than just a bike.”

Additionally, with each of the students receiving a bike needing to write essays about what they want to be when they grow up, as well as how they’ll get there with hard work, Cadieux added that the program stands to instill lifelong values in each of the students involved.

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“Kids who get these bikes are graduating high school going on to secondary trade school, Military Police Academy, two year, four year schools at a rate of roughly 2,000% higher than kids who don’t get these bikes.”

On Monday and Tuesday, 300 lucky students will be given the bikes in ceremonies at Lake Lucina Elementary School, Crown Point Elementary School, Jacksonville Heights Elementary School, and Bayview Elementary School, hopefully changing those children’s lives one bike at a time.

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