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City of Houston Helps Bring Holiday Cheer with New Bikes, Helmets for 8,000 Students

City Partners with Local Organizations to Encourage Scholastic Improvements, Physical Activity

The City of Houston Mayor’s Citizens’ Assistance Office (MCAO) has partnered with Elves & More, a Houston-based non-profit, and other sponsors to distribute 8,000 brand new bikes and helmets to studnets in more than 36 local schools. Students qualified for the bikes and helmets by improving their grades during the school year.

MCAO raised approximately $25,000 to purchase helmets. Representatives from the Texas Medical Association, the Houston Police Department (HPD) Bike Unit, Texas Children’s Hospital, ExxonMobil, Association Management, Inc. (AMI), BP, Conoco Phillips, Bike Houston, Leadership Bike, Bike Texas and other recipients with a new helmet. HPD will also teach them about bike safety.

“We are delighted to collaborate with Elves & More on this successful public/private partnership event, ” said Houston Mayor Annise Parker. “The bikes promote active living, and helmets encourage bike safety.”

Elves & More is a local nonprofit organization committed to changing lives one bike at a time. Since 2001, Elves & More has delivered 110,000 bicycles to underprivileged children across the Greater Houston Metropolitan Area and will be delivering its 118,000th bike this year. By partnering with school and community leaders, the organization aims to empower students in need with the ability to get to after-school events, tutors, mentors and jobs. The added bonus is improved grades and better health through exercise.

Elves & More Executive Director Rebecca Roberts said, “This year we were approached by the Mayor’s office to collaborate on a more comprehensive bike-safety initiative. We will equip students not only with bicycles and helmets but also with informative and user-friendly bike/helmet safety tips for everyday use. I am grateful to Mayor Parker, Texas Children’s Hospital, TMA, the Exxon Mobile Cycling Team, BP, AMI, Conoco Phillips, and other corporate and individual donors for making this happen.”

On average, 250 children across the United States under the age of 14 die each year from a bicycle crash. Another 300,000 children are treated in emergency rooms for severe head injuries. Many of these accidents could have been prevented if the rider had worn a bicycle helmet.

“As a Level 1 Trauma Center, far too often we have the unfortunate necessity to treat children who have sustained very serious and – in most cases – preventable head injuries due to the lack of protective equipment,” said David Wesson, MD, General Surgery Service Chief, Texas Children’s Hospital. “Wearing a helmet while participating in sports and activities is essential for children and adolescents of all ages.”

CONTACT:
Mark Cueva
Department of Neighborhoods
901 Bagby
4th Floor
Houston, TX 77002
Office: 832.729.3698

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