Monday – Thursday: 3pm – 7pm
Saturday: 10am – 4pm
Trips for Kids Charlotte Purpose/Vision Statement
TFKC is a non-profit organization that provides mentoring through bicycling experiences. In alliance with other organizations, TFKC targets 10-15 year old children of need within the Charlotte area.
The TFKC vision is to use bicycling as the tool to prepare kids for success. TFKC experiences focus kids on:
- Overcoming challenges
- Healthy and safe lifestyles
These experiences equip kids with tools for building positive accomplishments and relationships in their communities and in their lives.
How TRIPS FOR KIDS got started…
In 1986 Marilyn Price founded Trips for Kids Marin, a non-profit organization, based in San Rafael, CA that takes inner city and low-income kids on mountain bike rides in Marin County. It has expanded from a once-a-week operation to rides every weekend of the year, along with mid-week rides during the summer. In addition, the program has grown to include two Earn-A-Bike programs for low-income kids and a thrift shop that repairs and recycles hundreds of bikes each year.
Because of the success of Trips for Kids in the San Francisco Bay Area, Marilyn Price promoted national expansion by looking for individuals and groups who have a committed interest in helping low-income kids and who know that cycling is a wonderful experience to share with kids.” The goal of this expansion is to reach as many kids as possible. “It just doesn’t seem fair that outdoor experiences such as mountain biking aren’t available to everyone – especially to kids,” says Price. “Our goal has always been to help set that straight a little bit. There’s something about bikes and kids and the outdoors….”
Price has great confidence in the value of Trips for Kids rides. “Once they make it up a hill, I know they’ve learned something. As one boy said after a ride, ‘I learned that if I stick with it, I could make it to the top.’ If he can transfer that experience to other areas of his life, we’ve accomplished a lot.”
Trips for Kids Charlotte, founded in 1999, was the second TFK location. There are now 70 Trips for Kids organizations throughout the country.
Who We Are…
Trips for Kids Charlotte was founded by individuals living in the Southern Piedmont of North and South Carolina with a fundamental belief that cycling is an empowering sport that can help kids achieve “breakthrough” results in their lives. We are public officials, corporate and private citizens. When all is said and done, we are individuals that want to make a difference in the lives of kids and believe that cycling is a perfect medium for making that difference.
Who We Are…Technically & Legally…
Trips for Kids Charlotte is incorporated as a North Carolina Non-profit Corporation and organized as a “Public Charity” for the purposes of section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) code. Trips for Kids Charlotte has its final 501(c)(3) determination letter from the IRS stating that Trips for Kids Charlotte is a “publicly supported organization” under section 509(a)(2) of the IRS code.
Who Helps Us…
Community Service Organizations. Trips for Kids Charlotte partners with other non-profit community service organizations and members of the Charlotte Mayor’s Mentoring Alliance whose mission is similar or complementary. These organizations provide the kids for our Ride Program and our Earn-A-Bike Program and are responsible for completing all paperwork and transporting the kids to and from the ride and/or ReCyclery site. Our program often serves as a reward for the kids from these organizations who exhibit good behavior and have good grades.
The most important thing Police Departments bring to TFK Charlotte is Community Policing, which provides links into the communities TFK kids live in.
The most important thing TFK Charlotte brings to Community Policing is a proactive tool for establishing stronger links into the communities they serve.
Often Community Officers interact with their communities at a “problem level” (i.e. responding to a call, addressing a neighborhood crime issue)
TFK Charlotte provides a proactive, positive framework for police and community residents to strengthen their relationships based on a common goal, providing opportunities for kids to have positive experiences.
Police Departments provide the following additional benefits:
- Resource Officers that serve schools that TFK kids attend.
- Officers for organizing and conducting trips.
- Transportation for getting kids to trips.
- Un-claimed stolen bikes that kids can learn to restore and that TFK Charlotte can use.
- Police Athletic League (PAL) sponsorship of TFK events and/or bike teams.
Ten- to fifteen-year-old kids participate. Their teachers tell us that the achievement and self-empowerment learned from rides and the Earn-A-Bike experience do transfer over into improved school work and class room behavior.
Bike Clubs such as the Dirt Divas, Cannonballs, Rocky Road Cyclists and Trailblazers provide financial support and wonderful volunteer role models for our kids rides and assist our Community Service/Education Program by providing opportunities for our kids to volunteer at biking events that benefit charities, as well as educational opportunities, such as learning about the environmental conservation through their trail maintenance programs.
Charlotte Bike Shops and REI provide awareness for the program, along with donated used bikes and some financial support.
Video by Scott Murrish
McClintock Video by Morry Alter