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On April 20, 1996 a group of children representing countries from around the world gathered to draft a “Children’s Bill of Rights“. This document summarized basic rights that all children the world over should be entitled to and expect. As we deal with issues of poverty and inequality in America we must acknowledge that there are some changes that we as individuals can make in a child’s life that do not require politicians, lawyers or multi-national corporations to enact.

Section 1, Item 12 of the Children’s Bill of Rights states; “12. Right to leisure and play: Children have the right to leisure, play, and participation in cultural and artistic activities. Children have the right to a enjoy at least a few hours every day when they are free from worries.” The right to play is essential to growing up to be a healthy adult. Thinking back on my own childhood, some of my best play memories involved a bicycle. The challenge of learning to ride a bike, the freedom that comes from having your own transportation and the camaraderie developed riding your bike to school made a bicycle essential to growing up.

Having a bike is not a given for many families in the Triangle. There is an organization in the Triangle of North Carolina that recognizes that need and are doing something about it. The Triangle Spokes Group is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the idea that every child has the right to own a bicycle. Their mission is to provide as many brand new bicycles and helmets as they can for children in the area. The bikes are donated at the holidays through the Salvation Army. The goal for the Triangle Spokes Group is 500 bikes and helmets, a 43% increase over the 2010 goal. Their fundraising varies from sponsoring a Bike Parade at New Belgium Brewery’s Tour de Fat to corporate appeals and generous personal donors.

To find out more about how you or your company can be involved, visit the Triangle Spokes Group website.