When Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast this week, countless people lost their homes, their livelihoods, and their means of transportation. Thousands of people from neighboring Louisiana have taken refuge in cities and towns across Texas. Texas Bicycle Coalition is working with the Texas bicycle community to coordinate a thoughtful and concerted response.
Several staff members visited the Toney Burger Center in Austin, a local Red Cross shelter for hurricane victims, on August 31 to assess need and determine how the cycling community may be able to help. As a result of this visit, and with growing support from the bicycle industry and our membership, Texas Bicycle Coalition is spearheading efforts to provide bicycle education and recreation to the thousands of refugee children living at Red Cross shelters.
Still in its infant stages, the Coalition’s plan is to provide a bicycle safety education day for the children at the Austin Convention Center and other Texas shelters. This event would provide a much-needed day of recreation and fun for the youngest of the hurricane refugees. To make this day a reality, the Coalition is working with the bicycle industry and relief workers to determine how to procure bikes and purchase helmets for each child who wishes to participate.
This effort will be funded exclusively from member donations as the Coalition’s grants don’t provide funding for this type of emergency response. If you would like to help Texas Bicycle Coalition in this effort, please visit our donation page and make a contribution to the Cycling Towards Relief Fund. Your donation will help the Texas Bicycle Coalition staff this event, rent and transport bicycles, and purchase helmets for Katrina’s youngest victims. Any excess funds raised for this effort will be donated to the American Red Cross.