November 29, 2022
Happy Holiday Season!
Can’t believe December is right around the corner. Wheels for Kids has been running smoothly all year and will wrap up the year having brought smiles to many in our community.
This past summer several mechanics continued to work on bikes, so 39 bikes were delivered June through September. As mechanics returned to AZ, 20 bikes were delivered in October and so far in November 38 bikes have been delivered.
Listed below are the organizations who received bikes: Casa de los Ninos, More Than a Bed, Lutheran Social Services Refugee and Immigration Services, Aviva Family and Children’s Services, International Rescue Committee, Tucson Boys and Girls Club, Catholic Community Migration and Refugee Services, Gospel Rescue Mission, Christian Family Care, Grace Retreat Foster and Adoption Services. As always, our Outreach Team members are met by appreciative partners at each location, which sometimes include hugs!
A special shout out to the mechanics who turn our used bike donations into safe, shiny, awesome bikes!
We look forward to finishing up the year with a big push to meet the ‘wish lists’ of families and kids in our community. Thank you to all of you who are making a difference in our community one bike at a time!
Wheels For Kids recently received a Shout Out from More than A Bed in their newsletter.
Wheels for Kids have blessed the children once again - this time focused on our teens. Their faithful generosity has made it possible for MTaB to provide almost new bikes for many, many children in foster care. Thank you, Lisa Terfehr, Dick Swain, and all the wonderful techs for all that you do. What a great group of people, what a great nonprofit. Your outstanding gifts bring so much happiness to the kids and we are ever-grateful. Thank you!
We are proud to partner with this wonderful organization in the work they do for so many in Tucson.
The West's VP, Paula Christenson, with Tom Terfehr
The West's VP, Paula Christenson, with Tom Terfehr
A grant from The West to support our bike refurbishing work.
On behalf of those in Tucson who receive our bikes, Wheels For Kids would like to express our deep gratitude to this wonderful organization with a long history of charitable support in Tucson.
The West is a nonprofit, volunteer-run shop offering gifts, cards, and needlework supplies and classes.
It has been serving the Tucson community for over 50 years and has donated over $2.5 million to local charities.
The West is located in the River Center, Craycroft & River Roads, 5615 E. River Road, Suite 101, phone (520) 299-1044, http://thewestinc.com. Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10 AM - 4 PM.
Jim Elkan, a long term Wheels for Kids volunteer is awarded
the Rudy V. Award for Bike Patrol Cyclist of the Year.
Jim Elkan has been riding Bike Patrol since 2011 and has participated in 14 events including Tour de Mesa and El Tour de Tucson. In addition to assisting other riders on route, he has helped out at the El Tour Expo by giving the hourly safety briefings. Thank you for your service and support Jim!
El Tour de Tucson has renamed the Bike Patrol Award after Rudy V. Award in honor of Rudy VanRenterghem, who passed away in 2020.
Rudy started riding Bike Patrol in 1986 and rode in 46 El Tour events overall.
“A personal experience I had showed how he embodied the spirit of Bike Patrol,” said Bill Sarnack, of Bike Patrol. “I was riding with a friend on Oracle Road and he had a flat that we changed. Less than two miles later my friend had a second flat. Since he only carried one spare tube and no patch kit, we were stymied. At that point, Rudy rolled up on his bike and offered assistance. Luckily, he had a patch kit and we were on our way before long.”
Bike Patrol helps cyclists on the route with minor mechanical aid, first aid and moral support. Nearly 300 certified Bike Patrol cyclists bring enthusiasm for cycling and a deep pool of experience to ensure the success of thousands of riders in Perimeter’s events every year. They ride all or part of an event’s route stopping to assist other cyclists and report their activities to headquarters during the event.
Greg Yares (left), Jim Elkan (middle) and Bill Sarnak.
The mechanics were busy this month, which allowed the Outreach Team to schedule deliveries and pod pickups of 62 bikes. Deliveries were made to More Than a Bed, Casa de los Ninos, Tucson Boys & Girls Club, Southern Arizona Children’s Advocacy Center, International Rescue Committee and Arizona Children’s Association.
Fortunately for us we have a couple of partners who are able to pick up their bikes. PIMA County sponsors bike programs at elementary, middle and high schools in several districts including those on the Tohono O’Odham Nation. Elaine Mariolle who runs these programs picked up 12 bikes for various programs.
We reestablished our relationship with Saddlebrooke Community Outreach, which serves many groups, one of which is the San Carlos Reservation in Mammouth and Globe. With our help, they provide bikes to children who participate in bike programs in elementary and middle schools on the reservation. They have a van and are able to pick up and deliver the bikes which is a big help to us
Sally Chermer, a Sun City resident has joined our Outreach Team. She recently donated her bike and learned more about WFK when Tom picked up her bike. Sally and her husband live here year round and are from the Boston area. Welcome Sally!
February was a good month, filled with its signature of Love delivered to 62 children and adults.
To learn more about Wheels for Kids, contact Lisa Terfehr (612) 867-0516.
Before we get too far into the new year, I’d like to update you on a productive December. The ‘sleigh’ was filled several times after a pod party in early December, where the elves tinkered with a twinkle in their eyes while (picture attached), turning screws, polishing frames, and truing wheels in the spirit of the season. Our Outreach Team delivered 48 bikes to Casa de los Ninos, Grace Retreat Foster Care and Adoption Services, International Rescue Committee, Owl & Panther and Lutheran Social Services Refugee Programs. Two of our team members, Kathy Klug and Rose Mary Meyer, received an early Christmas gift while delivering bikes; they were fortunate enough to meet the bike recipients who were so happy to receive their new bikes! (Pictures attached). These pictures, will not only warm your heart, but serve as direct feedback on the good we are ALL doing for others in our community.
May we in this new year, continue to bring smiles and more smiles.
All WFK Volunteers,
First, Happy New Year to you and yours. Hope you had a chance to welcome 2022 with fanfare and festivity. Lisa and I definitely did. Our youngest daughter was married in California so we welcomed a wonderful son-in-law and had a spectacular week.
Attached for your information is a Wheels For Kids operating Summary report for 2021. One of my responsibilities is too prepare this report to periodically update the Board Of Directors and also Team Leaders. This year it was suggested that it might be of interest to all WFK volunteers. Last year, despite the pandemic, WFK volunteers stepped up in spectacular fashion to support those in Tucson who need some extra support. WFK delivered over 400 bikes to recipients around Tucson. We also passed the 4,000th bike delivered milestone and plan some publicity about that happy event.
Thank you, thank you every WFK volunteer for you work last year. It takes a large amount of team effort, time and coordination to pick-up, refurbish, deliver bikes in addition to the many critical activities to enable what we do – treasury & finance, bike inventory management, parts purchasing and inventory management, publicity, website management and fundraising. It is a privilege to be part of this fine organization.
Shout out in the
"More Than a Bed"
Dec. 2021 newslettter
"It is with special thanksgiving that we extend our deepest thanks to 'Wheels For Kids’ for their faithful gifts. They have once again blessed the children with bikes. What a great gift of generosity!"
Tom Meyer and Kathy Klug
Distinguished Service Award
Distinguished Service Award
On behalf of a grateful community of children, families of children and refugees in Tucson who have received Wheels For Kids bikes, and also all WFK volunteers, the Wheels For Kids Board of Directors presents this Distinguished Service Award to Dick Swain.
In 2007 Dick Swain had an idea: collect, refurbish and donate used bicycles to put a smile on the face of kids who didn’t think they would ever get to experience the joy of riding their own bike. He recruited a few cycling friends to help and Wheels For Kids was born. From a modest beginning of a few kindred spirits it has grown to 30+ volunteers today and has donated over 4,000 bikes to kids, adults and families in greater Tucson. Work continues and each year over 350 bikes are collected, refurbished and delivered to those who could use a little help.
To build the organization and infrastructure that delivered those bikes and continues to do so, required visionary guidance, extraordinary leadership, and hands-on work in all aspects of the effort. Dick is a leader who was, and is, resolutely determined to accomplish what he set out to do. There were times that he used dogged persistence and during a few trying times, showed unjustified optimism. It has been said: “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way;” an apt description for Dick Swain. All of the work and countless hours were guided by Dick’s passion for helping others.
Dick has often said that “everyone remembers their first bike.” It creates a lifetime memory for children from a four year who now can learn to ride on a shiny 12” bike; to ten-year old who has the freedom to ride with friends, to a teenager who has transport to school, after school activities and, sometimes to work to help support the family. For refugees it changes their lives – they can ride to work instead of walking or taking a bus which saves valuable time affords them more opportunities to get their life back on track. It is because of Dick’s vision and leadership that the world is a better place for many in Tucson.
Thank you, Dick, for your vision, passion and contributions toward building this very special organization.
Rick Haupt John Johnston Dave Pauley Tom Terfehr
Wheels For Kids Board Of Directors
November 19, 2021
New drop off location
Wheels For Kids is pleased to announce a partnership with PEDEGO bicycles in Tucson. PEDEGO sells and services electric bicycles. The store, owned and operated by James Lorentzen, will serve as a drop-off location for used bikes donated to Wheels For Kids. They will also collect used bikes when delivering one of their new electric bikes.
The store is located in St. Philips Plaza, SE corner E River Rd & N Campbell Ave near Reforma Modern Mexican & Homewood Suites Hotel. The address is 4320 N. Campbell, #128, Tucson, AZ 85718.
Wheels For kids is deeply grateful for this support. It is because of the generosity of people like James and his organization that we can continue our work.
November 15, 2021
Such good news to report on Wheels For Kids activity since May. Over the summer, we had a crew of volunteers picking up bikes, delivering bikes and several mechanics working on bikes. We are blessed to have year-round volunteers who continue the good work of WFK over the summer when the majority of our volunteers head out. You know who you are – thank you!
June through October, 86 bikes were delivered and so far in November, we delivered 15. Some of our partners who received these bikes include Aviva Family and Children’s Services, Casa de los Ninos, Boys and Girls Club and Refugee and Immigration Services at both Lutheran Social Services and Catholic Community Services. Our partners are always VERY HAPPY to see us and express their gratitude with smiles, high fives and hugs!
This weekend there will be a pod party where our devoted mechanics will produce bikes for a delivery to More Than a Bed next week. A big shout out to our mechanics, without whom, there would be no Wheels for Kids.
We are blessed by all our volunteers who share their talents, time and heart to make a difference in our community. If you know of someone who might be interested in supporting Wheels for Kids, please refer them to this website (www.azwfk.org) and/or have them contact Lisa or Tom Terfehr (520-789-7243).
Thank you all.
November 11, 2021
Wheels For Kids Volunteers:
Jack Bona recently passed away peacefully under Hospice care. Jack was an early, ardent and active Wheels For Kids (WFK) supporter.
In the early days of WFK Jack called Dick Swain, WFK founder, and explained that he would like to talk about WFK and share some ideas. When they met Dick had the opportunity to get to know Jack and about his background working with 501(c3) organizations. As it turned out he had done quite a bit of work with a variety of such groups in the recent past, including the Ronald McDonald House. In addition he shared his desire to become an active part of WFK. His enthusiasm and past experience seemed like a perfect fit for the program.
Jack joined WFK and the rest, as the saying goes, is history. Jack was very successful enlarging our base of contact with donors who provided used bikes to refurbish and also charities to enlarge our distribution program. Jack was a member of Vistoso Cyclists and engaged members of that organization to become part of WFK.
What is most remembered about Jack is his love of seeing kids get their new bikes. There are many pictures in WFK files that show Jack with a huge smile, standing next to a smiling child with a new bike.
Thanks Jack, on behalf of so many in Tucson who have felt your generosity; you will be missed.
Wheels For kids Board of Directors
Our fiscal year 2021 ended on April 30th. What a year it was! We delivered 409 bikes to our partner organizations - the second highest number in WFK history. Two months were especially noteworthy --December, 2020 (90 bikes) and April, 2021 (63 bikes). All of this great work despite the virus. A number of our charities deserve great credit for carrying on for those in need no matter the obstacles. As the saying goes “when the going gets tough the tough get going.” Thank you to all who played a role in this exceptional effort. What an inspiration.
On behalf of our partner organizations and the bike recipients, thank each of you for your work and dedication to this great cause. It took thousands of hours and many steps in the supply chain to change these donated bikes into ones that are ready to be given to those who needed a helping hand - in this case about 80 helping hands from 40 WFK volunteers. Each of you plays a vital role. The generous gifts of your time and talents brought smiles to faces and made a difference in so many lives. Tucson is a better place because of what you do.
Thank you. I feel privileged to be part of this very special group of people.
It’s another beautiful day in Arizona – we are blessed! Wrenches have been turning and wheels rolling, which means Wheels For Kids bikes continue to be delivered. We have made 10 deliveries in the past month!
Kathy Klug, our newest Outreach volunteer, and Tom delivered 23 bikes to Aviva, Boys and Girls Club and Catholic Community Services. Roger and Sue Paluska made deliveries to GAP Ministries (7), Youth on Their Own (5) and a trike was delivered to Lutheran Social Services. Christian Family Care employee, Valerie Solomon picked up 5 bikes at the pod and Tom and I dropped off 17 kids bikes at Grace Retreat, More Than a Bed and Casa de los Ninos. That’s ten different partner organizations with 58 clients whose lives were touched by Wheels for Kids.
This season (fiscal year beginning in May ’20) we have delivered 321 bikes to partner organizations and that’s during a pandemic! Fiscal year, 2020 there were 378 bikes delivered and in 2019, 274 bikes. I’d say the work of many has been a bright light in the midst of these past couple of years! Take a moment and pat yourselves on the back for a job well done and for bringing joy to many in our community.
Your continued support and sharing of time and talents is appreciated.
Lisa (March 7, 2021)
P.S. In the picture of Anika, you’ll notice she is wearing a sling. No, this didn’t result from a fall on her bike; she’s just anxious to ride her NEW bike!
Hope this beautiful weather is to your liking; no complaints from my corner of the world! I want to bring you up to date on deliveries since the beginning of the year and also introduce you to our newest partner, Owl and Panther.
Owl and Panther (https://www.owlandpanther.org/) is an organization working with refugees settled in Tucson who are no longer eligible to receive services from their resettlement organization. WFK partners with the three resettlement programs – Catholic Community Services, International Rescue Committee and Refugee Focus. After a period of time, refugees rotate out of these programs, yet may still be in need of services (resource referrals, housing assistance, transportation needs, etc.). Owl and Panther pick up where these organizations leave off.
Their focus is not only working with refugees but specifically with refugees who have been impacted by trauma, torture and traumatic dislocation. Their needs and the resources made available to them vary depending on their individual circumstances and experiences. Owl and Panther offers classes, outings, educational opportunities, etc. to strengthen these families and help them to make Tucson their new home. Their mission statements reads:
To provide meaningful and healing expressive arts experiences in the community and the natural world for refugee families resettled in Tucson who have been impacted by trauma, torture and traumatic dislocation. To foster acceptance of refugees in the community through education. And to honor the efforts of our volunteers who make this work possible.
In January, Larry Lee and I delivered 10 bikes to them, which were received with broad smiles and grateful hearts. The bikes were placed in volunteer’s trucks for immediate delivery to several families. Another partner that helps to close the circle of WFK’s work!
Also in January, Dave and Cathy Pauley delivered 10 bikes to Catholic Community Services for their refugee program and Roger and Sue Paluska delivered 10 more bikes to Christian Family Care, one of our foster care partners. Both of these organizations are always happy to see the Wheel for Kids crew pull up!
Tom and Rose Mary Meyer made two deliveries earlier this month; 5 bikes to Refugee Focus and 6 bikes to More Than a Bed. These partners more often than not, welcome us with a hug; these times a fist pump and smiling eyes indicate their gratitude.
Tomorrow Elaine Mariolle from Pima County will be picking up 10 bikes for the county’s work on two projects with Tucson Indian Center and Tohono O’odham and Pascua Yaqui youth programs. Elaine is thrilled to be able to provide these kids with bikes; both to promote healthy life styles and to enjoy the fun of riding a bike!
Wheels for Kids is making a profound difference in the lives of many in our extended community. Our reach is deep and wide. If you know of an organization that might benefit from receiving bikes, please give contact me.
All of the above is due to your dedication and support. Each of you deserves a pat on the back! I can’t thank the mechanics enough; your tinkering and time is well spent as measured by smiles and grateful hearts. Thank you so very much.
The ‘elves’ have been very busy, which made for a sleigh-full of bikes and three deliveries today (pictures attached). We dropped off 8 bikes to both the Boys and Girls Club and Aviva Social Services. Each partner organization is having their holiday party later this week, where kids will be able to select a gift and as we all know, bikes are often at the top of the list!
We then swung by Refugee Focus and delivered 5 cruiser bikes, some with racks and baskets to accommodate trips to the store, etc. As always, Mukadesa, our contact, thanked us profusely and added, “God Bless you Lisa”. Those blessings I pass onto all of you who have tinkered on bikes, supported us from the sidelines, picked up, delivered, etc. Your efforts have brought smiles and laughter to kids and adults alike this holiday season (and throughout the year).
Thank you, thank you for dedication and support of Wheels for Kids.
On the eve of Thanksgiving, I wanted to share some good news.
Last week, we delivered bikes to three foster care agencies who are busy planning their holiday gift distributions. Just like Santa’s sleigh, we loaded the Wheels for Kids trailer (picture attached) and off we flew to Aviva Services, GAP Ministries and Grace Retreat Adoption and Foster Care.
Each of our contacts were filled with gratitude and though we couldn’t see their smiles (masks on!), we saw the twinkling in their eyes.
I want to thank all of our volunteers – especially those magical mechanics, who turn wrenches and shine up dirty chains, for their time and dedication to helping Wheels for Kids bring squeals of joy and happiness, not only during the holidays, but all year long.
Wishing you and yours a Thanksgiving filled with blessings and thank you for being a blessing to those less fortunate in our community.
2020 El Tour de Food Bank ride
On Saturday October 24, 2020 Vistoso Cyclists participated in the El Tour de Food Bank ride through Sun City Vistoso to raise money for the Interfaith Community Services (ICS) food bank.
Some Wheels For Kids volunteers participated in the event. ICS is one of the WFK partner organizations.
Tom McKinney, ICS CEO, visited to thank this group for 10 years of loyal support and to say the need now is greater than ever.
This year’s ride was another success – over $7,000 was raised.
Thank you to all the generous Vistoso Cyclists and Sun City Donors.
Included are a few pictures of the riders. They added much color to the Sororan Desert! One group – the WOWs (Women On Wheels) especially rose to the occasion.
April 8, 2020 Update
Wheels For Kids continues to do what we do - safely of course - during these difficult times. We want to help those most in need, especially now. Some mechanics continue refurbishing bikes. Our practice of working in our own garages facilitates social distancing - who knew we were so prepared for these times? Other functions such as parts purchasing, website updating, fundraising continue but in a limited way.
The Community Outreach team has maintained contact with our partner organizations and bike deliveries continued during March, although at a much slower rate later in the month. Our partner organizations have made changes in the way they provide services, the variety of services provided, office hours, etc. In many cases, their doors are closed and they are working remotely or working one on one with a family or client. Nonetheless, a total of 51 bikes were delivered in March – one of the highest totals for any March in our history.
During the last week in March WFK delivered 18 bikes. An employee from Christian Family Care was able to come by the pod and pick up 4 bikes for a family they are working with. We made a delivery of 7 bikes to Grace Stocksdale, the incredibly devoted and hardworking co-owner of More Than a Bed (photo included) and 7 more bikes went to Refugee Focus, which is operating with only one staff person in the office each day. All three of these organizations’ gratitude was loud and clear; WFK is an essential ingredient to accomplishing their missions!
We expect more of a slowdown during April and perhaps beyond. Bike donations have slowed to minimal levels and our partner organizations continue to operate at much reduced levels.
On behalf of Wheels For Kids Board of Directors we thank all WFK volunteers, bike donors, the charities we serve for their wonderful work and to our financial benefactors. Thank you all for your time, energy and support in helping to make a difference in the lives of others.
Grant from the Sun City Foundation!
March 4, 2020
Recently Wheels for Kids (WFK) was awarded a grant from the Sun City Foundation in Oro Valley, AZ. This outstanding organization continues to generously support WFK. On behalf of the 30+ charities we support around greater Tucson, we thank the Foundation for their generous and ongoing support and encouragement. The grant will ensure that we can continue to provide refurbished bikes, locks and helmets to those around Tucson in need of a boost. There will be many happy kids and family members
Thanks to the support of the Sun City Foundation and others WFK refurbished and delivered 382 bikes in calendar year 2019. Also, in 2019 WFK delivered our 3000th bike – a rewarding milestone. This year – the first of the roaring 20s – is off to a great start. All of our volunteers continue to generously donate their time and energy. We added new volunteers again last year especially bicycle mechanics, always a critical need.
Once again, WFK continues to be grateful for the longstanding support and partnership with the Sun City Community Foundation.
AZwfk – Saddlebrooke Cyclemasters Bike Round-up
February 22, 2020
Recently Wheels For Kids participated in the Saddlebrooke Cyclemasters Community Bike Round-up. The objective was to collect gently used bikes from all three Saddlebrooke developments and donate them to charity in Tucson. Wheels For Kids was chosen as one of the two organizations to receive the bikes, refurbish them and donate to charities throughout greater Tucson.
What a successful day. A total of 110 bikes were collected. WFK received 55 bikes. They were in very good condition. That is a plus when purchasing parts and in the time required to refurbish them.
The Saddlebrooke Cyclemasters Club did a great job organizing and executing the event. The club had spent time collecting some bikes in advance of the round-up. In addition a team of volunteers was on site during the round-up hours to receive the bikes, along with some helmets, clothing and equipment. Each donor was thanked for their generosity. When the round-up was complete the bikes were loaded for transport to WFK storage in Sun City.
On behalf of all those who will receive these bikes Wheels For Kids would like to thank Saddlebrooke Cyclemasters volunteers for their time, talents and generosity in making this event possible. It was a heartwarming beautiful day in Arizona.
A Strong Start for 2020
February 15, 2020
Wheels for Kids has started strong in 2020. We delivered 49 bikes in January; the majority of which went to foster care and refugee organizations. So far in February we’ve delivered 19 bikes and there are about 25 bikes ready to find new homes this week!
We’ve brought on two new partners – Emerge Center Against Domestic Abuse and Big Brothers Big Sisters. Both of these organizations are grateful to be able to provide bikes to their clients; we just delivered our first to Emerge this past week! Since WFK was founded we have served well over 35 organizations. Normally 12 – 15 are active at any given time. Each year the distribution of bikes ebbs and flows to various organizations on our partner list; some receive no bikes one year and then reappear the following year. We continue to look for new partners to support in the community and welcome additional ideas.
One special delivery should be mentioned. In early February we delivered 4 bikes to Christian Family Care; two 12” bikes went to twins who were so excited, they wouldn’t take their helmets off when it was time for dinner! .I’ve attached a couple of pictures that show just how happy these 2 girls were with their new bikes.
Jan. 5, 2020 Bike Pick-up
Generous donors in Tucson gave WFK 13 very good, used bikes and 104 new tires of various sizes. We are blessed.
Had to get a little creative during the loading. “Jed and Jethro” handled the pick-up duties on this one.!!
Also, thanks to all the wonderful donors who contributed bikes and components during 2019. Those donations are already changing lives for kids and families in Tucson.
2019 Holidays Deliveries
December 17, 2019
Yesterday a few WFK volunteers delivered 10 bikes to Season 4 Hope which is KVOA NBC’s local affiliate.
We have participated for several years and it is always a wonderful way to give back to the community.
Donated toys are given to Toys for Tots; clothing to Goodwill and food to the Tucson Community Food Bank.
This delivery brings our bike donation number to over 3,300.