Building a Dream, One Bicycle at a Time
There’s nothing like the feeling of receiving your first bike and the freedom and fun that comes with learning to ride it. Thanks to Salal Credit Union and Be Legendary, a group of twenty-five students from the IRC’s Newcomer School Readiness Program were able to experience this incredible feeling. The IRC was selected to participate in a “Building A Dream” event organized by Be Legendary as a motivational, team-building exercise for the employees of Salal Credit Union. As a part of the program, Salal employees were required to work in teams to build bicycles for unknown “customers.” As they built the bikes, little did they know their “customers” were actually in the same building waiting excitedly to meet them.
On the day of the event, the students – all between the ages of 8 and 12 – took a field trip from Tukwila to the Edgewater Hotel in Seattle. Upon arrival, Be Legendary representatives and hotel staff were standing by to greet the kids and guide them to a special waiting room filled with snacks and art supplies. After having a chance to settle in and fill up on fruit, cookies, and juice, the kids met with representatives from Salal. While the bikes were being built in another room, Salal employees had a chance to introduce themselves and talk with the students one-on-one. A favorite topic of conversation was, of course, bike riding! Several of the students also drew excellent pictures of bicycles, which they later signed and offered to Salal as a thank-you.
Finally, it was the time for the big reveal. The students and their new friends from Salal quietly made their way up to the third floor. Although it was a challenge to contain their enthusiasm, the kids waited patiently until given the signal to open the double-doors and see their new bikes. The students poured into the room while being cheered on by the adults already inside. The huge smiles on their faces as they saw their shiny, red bikes for the first time were priceless. In addition to new bikes, each student received a new helmet, bike lock, water bottle and backpack.
After a few group photos were taken and the excitement began to die down, the students were bid a fond farewell. They temporarily parted ways with their bikes, which were delivered to Tukwila later that day after being fully inspected by bike mechanics. Before heading home, the students enjoyed an exclusive tour of the beautiful Edgewater Hotel. The students particularly enjoyed the views of the Puget Sound from the hotel’s balconies, as well as guessing how many people could fit inside each of the rooms they visited. By the end of the tour, everyone was sufficiently tuckered out and ready for a sleepy bus ride back home.
The IRC would like to send a big thank-you to the Be Legendary team for organizing this opportunity for our students, and to Salal Credit Union for building and gifting the bikes. The IRC is ever grateful for the support we receive from community organizations like Salal. We admire Salal’s commitment to community involvement, and hope to partner with them again in the future.