The Salvation Army of Clark County has unveiled a new campaign to raise money for bicycles to donate to children this Christmas.
A five-mile bike run, named the Red Kettle Pedal, will take place on Sunday, Sept. 23 at 3 p.m. The five mile route will begin at Springfield High School and follow a bike path two and a half miles to the Heritage Center and back again to the high school, said Ryan Ray, development director with the Salvation Army of Clark County.
“It’s going to engage children in this community to get involved in something that is going to be completely unique and incredibly powerful,” said Ray.
The Salvation Army has partnered with Bike Springfield and National Trail Parks and Recreation District, who are helping with the marketing component of the campaign, Ray said. “I think that’s going to be huge in the long run.”
Last year, the Salvation Army’s Christmas campaign aimed to deliver bikes to 140 children, but delivered only 60, Ray said.
“This year, we’re hoping to improve that number exponentially,” Ray said.
People interested in participating in the bike run may join individually or with their family, Ray said. There is no registration for the event.
Individuals can raise money through pledges that they solicit from others, according to Ray.
The Salvation Army asks that each participant raise a minimum of $75, Ray said.
“That will get one bike into the hands of one child this Christmas, Ray said. “Ideally, this pedal will raise enough money where we are able to get helmets and locks also to these kids.”
Pledge forms are available on the Salvation Army’s Facebook page and website, and at its Springfield location, Ray said.
The Red Kettle Pedal campaign is also aimed at combating childhood obesity, Ray said. Donating bicycles is a way for kids to be active and have fun, Ray said. “A bicycle for Christmas has a ripple effect far beyond December 25.”
“We’re hoping that this becomes a tradition for families and individuals here in Springfield,” Ray said.
With less than two months until the pedal, Ray hopes that people will start to raise pledges. “Now is the time to begin,” he said.