Williams volunteers build bikes for Pennsylvania youth

Staff Reports

Williams volunteers were on hand during the United Way of Southwestern PA’s  Build-A-Bike challenge at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh on Thursday.

More than 150 local students paired up with 50 teams of local volunteers to construct new bikes for children. Williams was the safety sponsor of the event. Many of the children, ages 8-11 had never owned a bike or been to Heinz Field. That changed Thursday when they walked into the stadium as part of the fourth annual Build-A-Bike challenge hosted by the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania.

The event was the latest in an effort to improve the health of children through the United Way’s fitUnited initiative. Its goal is to mobilize the community to increase physical activity and improve nutrition in children.

This was the third year that Williams volunteers built bicycles for children, but it was the first time the children were included in the process, which made it more special according to Jeremy Zeman, Commercial Manager for Williams. “It was good to show the child how their new bicycle goes together, but it was even better getting to know them and seeing their faces light up when they wrap their hands around the handlebars and realize that this machine is theirs. The best part is knowing that their world will expand and be healthier because of it.”

The 100 children came from groups including the YMCA and Big Brothers Big Sisters of SW PA. Local experts inspected each bike upon completion, and Pittsburgh police officers were on hand for helmet-fittings. Each child received a Huffy 20-inch single-speed bike along with a safety helmet and lock.