NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C.-- South CarolinaIn first-grade teacher Katie Blomquist’s view, “every kid deserves a bike.”
Unfortunately, not every kid’s family can afford one. Blomquist teaches at a Title 1 school, which means there’s a high percentage of children from low-income families.
So, the teacher at Pepperhill Elementary School in North Charleston, South Carolina, made it her mission this year to buy every student — all 650 — a brand new bicycle (helmet and bike lock included) for Christmas.
“Over the years, after talking with students, I have come to the realization many have never ridden a bike nor do they have the means to own a bike, especially one that is new,” Blomquist wrote on a GoFundMe page to raise money for the presents. “I soon began to envision how each student’s quality of life could improve if they had more freedom to ride around their neighborhoods.”
Katie Blomquist shares a photo of her students on her GoFundMe campaign page. GOFUNDME
The teacher has already raised more than $21,000 of her $65,000 goal since she kicked off the campaign on September 6.
Charleston County School District applauded Blomquist’s ambitious goal, and announced in a video last week that the GoFundMe organization donated $10,000 to Pepperhill Elementary for her efforts.
In the video, Blomquist explained where she got the idea for the campaign.
“There was a student I had last year in my class who I just felt like wasn’t really getting the motivation he needed from home to be a successful student,” Blomquist said. “And so, I took it as a goal to myself from day one that I really wanted to get him motivated.”
She thought about how much she would have liked to have given that child a bike for his birthday.
That’s when she got the idea to set up a GoFundMe page, and the campaign started spiraling from there.
“I started thinking about all the other kids in my class that I love, and all the kids in the school who could really benefit from having a bike,” she said.
Right now, Blomquist is on track to meet her goal by December. Hopefully, hundreds of students will welcome the holidays with big smiles and shiny new bicycles.
They wouldn’t be the only ones smiling.
“I see directly the struggles and the difficult hands in life some children are dealt,” said Blomquist, repeating, “Every child deserves to have a bike.”
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