Fix It Forward

Thursday, March 10, 2011 - 3:23pm

Program helps kids earn their own set of wheels.

Some children are not fortunate enough to get bicycles for Christmas, but now the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department is helping some of those kids earn a set of wheels.

The program is called "BEAR: Bicycle Education and Registration."

Kids get to pick out a bike from the overflowing evidence bins and then work with members of the Sheriff's Department to repair and restore the bike to it's original condition.

The kids get to keep the wheels as well as the confidence and skills they developed in the process.

"A lot of these kids have never had a bike before," said Deputy Ken Yanecko. "We've had 15 year-old kids that don't know how to ride a bike. We teach them how to ride a bike, so we get that special moment."

Yanecko is the hands-on guy in charge, but the program was the brain-child of Connie Cervantes, who saw all the bikes without owners. But she didn't want to just give the bikes away.

"I want the kids to fix them," she said. "I don't want to give it to them, I want somebody to teach them safety."

The program has been so successful it is now in ten cities with six more on the way.

Many of the older kids are 'Fixing it Forward' having returned to the program to help out the next generation of cyclists.

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