Is your child with a disability not able to ride a bike because he or she is struggling with balance or physical accommodations on a standard bicycle? If so, Variety can help! Each November, Variety distributes more than 40 therapeutic bikes to financially qualifying families in the St. Louis area at our Bikes for Kids event. Therapeutic bikes are designed specifically for the rider’s needs and include adapted features like special frames, seats, pedals and more.
Requests for therapeutic bikes are now open to families of children (ages from birth until their 21st birthday) with physical or developmental disabilities who are unable to ride a standard bike. If you are interested, contact Misty Burton directly via email or phone at 314-720-7708. She will answer any questions and walk you through the registration process. Please note that a limited number of therapeutic bikes is available each year - once this limit is reached, all accepted applicants will be placed on a wait list for next year.
This year, however, things may look a little different due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As always, the health and safety of our Variety Kids is our top priority. While an in-person bicycle fitting will be required to ensure your child receives a bike adapted specifically to his or her needs, we are taking steps to ensure that all bicycle fittings follow local and CDC health guidelines. Those fitting your child for the bike will wear masks, we will limit the number of people in the room and each appointment will be for an individual family, instead of our usual group fittings.
In addition, it is possible that the pandemic may also affect bike distribution in November. While Bikes for Kids is traditionally a large event with hundreds of people present, we will be sure to adjust as needed, again out of concern for the health and safety of Variety Kids and their families, our staff and our volunteers. While we still plan to distribute the bikes in November of 2020, plans are still being formed and will be adjusted as the situation evolves. We will continue to update those families receiving bikes as the distribution draws nearer.
We can’t wait to see you soon!
Note: The distribution of standard bikes in 2020 is still under discussion at this time.