OUR VIEW: The Peninsula’s secret is out

Community service over the recent holiday period has sparked an enthusiastic look to the future

Community service over the recent holiday period has sparked an enthusiastic look to the future — and another effort to help folks who are in need on the Saanich Peninsula.

Sherry Moir of the Saanich Peninsula Secret Santas – Toys for Tots campaign (whom you have read about often in the pages of the PNR) is using her experience with the group to make it grow in 2014.

After receiving a donation of bikes from Sidney’s Russ Hays Bike Shop for Toys for Tots in December, Moir discovered there are many children on the Peninsula who do not have a bike. And the 23 they received to hand out as presents at Christmas just weren’t enough.

That’s why Moir is starting a new program called Bikes for Birthdays. She hopes to find enough bikes — new or used — to hand out to the many children who could have received one as a gift at Christmas, but for a lack of them did not. Moir is starting the legwork to get the wheels rolling, if you’ll pardon the pun, and needs other volunteers willing to repair or refurbish used bikes and otherwise contribute to the effort.

Not only will children without the means receive a bike should this program really work, but they will have the opportunity to learn more about bike safety. What’s more, is getting a bike means children can play outside, get some exercise and stay healthy for a lot longer than just one day.

In that perspective, Moir’s Bikes for Birthdays idea addresses a few issues — helping families make ends meet, allowing children to socialize more easily with their peers (who didn’t get to know some new friends while riding bikes?) and staying fit through a little muscle power. With this region’s emphasis on cycling, that can’t be a bad thing.

This is a great idea with plenty of upsides. Yet while it’s always nice to watch an idea take shape, it’s much more grand when people come out of the woodwork — either with bikes of their own to donate or with skills and time to contribute. If you want to learn more, see page three in today’s edition or email Moir at sidneysecretsantas@gmail.com.