SURREY — Want to donate a nice bike or scooter to a refugee?
If so, you’ll get your change on Jan. 16 thanks to a new charity campaign called Wheels 4 Refugees started by four young brothers who got the idea after hearing about the plight of Syrian refugees at school.
Duly impressed, the boys’ parents are helping to organize the donation drive which will take place in Langley and Surrey.
In Surrey, bikes can be dropped off at Options Community Services Society building at 13520 78 Ave., between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday Jan. 16. Langley residents can drop the donated bikes off at Langley Community Services at 5339 207th Street and Velocity Cycles at 20167 96th Avenue.
The Dayton brothers — Van, 12, Kade, 10, Ty, 10 and Wes, 7 — are also donating scooters and bikes of their own.
“Basically what we’re doing is we thought that since refugees are losing all their stuff when they are constantly getting attacked they have to get out of there and so they’re coming to Canada, and like they’re losing all their stuff from their houses, their family and everything, we thought it’d be a good idea if we donated bikes and scooters ’cause we noticed that we really like riding our bikes and scooters every day and so maybe if we gave bikes away to them then they would be able to ride bikes and scooters every day and have fun.”
Wes echoed his brother.
“If you were in your house and a bomb started dropping on your house, would you like it if you had to leave everything?…They only get to bring one little suitcase.”
The boys’ parents, Leah and Bruce Dayton, are counsellors at Clayton Heights secondary school.
“The idea was that people buy their kids a new bike or a new scooter at Christmas, they don’t get rid of their old bike,” Bruce said, “so we want them to come in.”
They’re looking for new and used bikes that are in good condition.
“We’re not looking for any broken bikes,” Bruce said.
Connie Hong, a senior manager at Options, noted that Syrian refugees have to yet arrived in Surrey. “We might have to give out to those refugees that are already here,” she said, ” and they are all coming from other countries, not just Syria. We served 1,000 refugees last year.”
Some will go to Syrians, she said, others to refugees from Somalia and Iraq.
The Daytons are hoping that bikes will be donated for teenagers as well as smaller children. Adults’ bikes can also be donated.
Bruce Dayton said they’re aiming to make Wheels 4 Refugees an annual campaign.