Trips for Kids National Signs its 50th Local Chapter

March 09, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Sports News
Trips for Kids National today announced a significant milestone with the formation of its 50th chapter - Trips for Kids Rochester, New York. Rochester, New York-based Friends Helping Friends is now the newest Trips for Kids chapter in North America. Like all Trips for Kids chapters, Friends Helping Friends will provide underserved youth a chance to experience the joy and challenge of mountain biking in the woods, something inner-city kids would not typically be able to experience.

Across the United States and Canada, Trips for Kids chapters take low-income, inner city and otherwise at-risk youth out of the city for mountain bike rides, which often turn out to be "the ride of their lives."

A simple concept, with rich dividends, Trips for Kids chapters have touched the lives of more than 33,500 youth during its 19-year history. Trips for Kids organized mountain bike rides help youth build confidence, empower them to reach their full potential and, at the same time, teach them about environmental awareness.

"Trips for Kids helped me discover that Iím stronger than I thought," says 15-year-old Khae Saetern from Thunder Road Adolescent Treatment Center in Oakland, California. Other youth echo these sentiments with, "I was scared at first, but I kept trying and got better," and "We made it to the top! I still canít believe that I did it!"

Friends Helping Friends' alliance with Trips for Kids National is a natural extension of its multicultural collaboration in Rochester to provide food and other services to those in need. Friends Helping Friends' "Bikes for Youth" program donates bikes to disadvantaged kids. Kids who now receive bikes from Friends Helping Friends can participate in organized mountain bike rides in the forests and parks surrounding Rochester.

Operating as part of Trips for Kids National, Friends Helping Friends will receive a start-up set of mountain bikes, helmets, equipment and tips and guidelines on how to lead safe and successful rides.

While the communities served by each Trips for Kids chapter are unique, the youth share a common need Ė they are low-income kids facing an army of personal challenges. Most youth live in the inner city, some live on reservations and others are in treatment or intervention programs. Trips for Kids chapters vary in size and structure depending on who runs them and the areas they serve. Some chapters are run by individuals; others operate through organizations like the Boys and Girls Clubs, Police Athletics Leagues, and cycling clubs. Several chapters evolved from community service agencies and schools.

An underlying principle of Trips for Kids is respect for nature. "Since people tend to treat things they enjoy with greater care, having fun outdoors is an effective way to instill a love and appreciation for nature," says Trips for Kids' Founding Director, Marilyn Price. "On the trail, we plant the seeds for a lifelong enjoyment and respect for nature."

Funding for Trips for Kids National comes from grants, individual donations and the bicycle industry. Half of Trips for Kids National's income comes from its Re-Cyclery Bike Thrift Shop in San Rafael, California, a brilliant green business. At the Thrift Shop, Trips for Kids sells donated parts, clothing and refurbished bikes while serving as a community center for affordable and environmentally sound transportation.

About Trips for Kids National
Trips for Kids National is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization based in Marin County, California. Trips for Kids started in 1988 as a grass roots effort by avid mountain biker, environmentalist and Mountain Bike Hall of Fame inductee Marilyn Price to provide inner-city youth a way to enjoy the outdoors and gain much-needed life skills. Fueled by success in the San Francisco Bay Area, Trips for Kids National was launched in 1999 with the expanded mission to open as many chapters as possible in order to provide kids with lessons in personal responsibility, achievement and environmental awareness through the development of practical skills and the simple act of having fun through mountain biking.

For more information on Trips for Kids National, including a list of other chapters, please visit www.tripsforkids.org or call Marilyn Price at 415.458.2986.