Cathryn Griggs, ’79, is the founder and co-chair of the Tri-Valley Chapter of Turning Wheels for Kids in California, a nonprofit that works to provide bikes for kids at Christmas and throughout the year in order to improve children’s health and well-being. The group she coordinates plans to offer four free bike repair clinics this year in addition to the annual “Big Bike Build” in December, where they will build 750 brand-new bikes to distribute to local charities. They work all year to raise money to purchase the bikes, helmets and locks.
Why do you serve?
“I am called to serve, and receive much more than I give!
“In February I was attending an IEP meeting for one of my students and discovered that his family is struggling financially. His mother said that her kids were going to be excited when they came home because they would discover groceries in the fridge, and admitted they hadn’t ‘had Christmas’ this year. . . At the end of the meeting, I asked if any of her children (five ranging from age 7 to 15) had bikes. None did, but she said she would accept them if I could arrange for them. Teachers at my school helped cover the cost, and my group at Turning Wheels for Kids made arrangements to build and provide bikes, helmets and locks for all five children. One afternoon in March, we surprised the family with a visit. I asked the kids to come outside for a surprise, and the joy, shock, surprise and excitement of each child is something I will never forget. Watching my student take his first ride, and the joy on his face as he exclaimed, ‘This is the best day of my life!’ was the best thank you I could have received.”