2016 Annual Appeal

November 13th, 2015

Dear Friend:

What steps do you take to keep yourself safe when riding? Perhaps you’re someone who wears hi-visibility clothing, or always uses hand signals when turning? Maybe you use lights year-round or consistently make eye contact with drivers. These safe riding practices are all tools in each rider’s saddlebag, and along with consistent, legal riding techniques, will keep us all safer. Another one of these tools is a bicycle helmet. While wearing a helmet will not singularly keep you safe, in the event of a crash, it does provide up to an 88% reduction in head and brain injury, and can very well save your life.

We need your help this year-end because not every Maine family can afford to purchase a bicycle helmet for their child. The sad truth is that not every young bike rider can afford the basic equipment that helps keep them safe. We want to ensure that all children who are in need have access to high quality bicycle helmets and proper bicycle safety education, so they can develop a healthy, active lifestyle, and benefit from biking as a lifelong sport and mode of transportation. Your gift this year-end can help make this goal a reality.

screen-shot-2016-11-10-at-2-46-06-pmWe pride ourselves on our effective and far-reaching education program. Through this proram, we have distributed over 5,000 FREE helmets to children around the state at community events, schools, bike rodeos and health fairs. We have seized opportunities to educate young riders about safe bike driving and to properly fit them with a helmet.

At the beginning of this year, we learned suddenly that the funding for our Helmet Program was no longer available. Historically, we have distributed over 1,600 helmets annually to children in need. This year, we found ourselves without the necessary funds to purchase helmets on the same scale as in previous years. Over the past 10 months alone, we have fielded requests from partners, schools and other organizations for over 1,000 helmets that we cannot fulfill due to lack of funding for the program.

We need your help to revitalize our Helmet Program for 2017.
It costs just $12 to equip a child with a helmet and educate them about how to ride their bicycle safely and legally. Your donation to this program will help protect some of the most vulnerable users of the road, and ensure that children can enjoy riding their bikes with the basic protective gear we take for granted.

During this season of giving, give the gift of safer bicycling. Please make a year-end contribution today and help us reach our goal of $12,000, or 1,000 helmets that will protect the heads of the next generation of bicyclists.

Most sincerely,
Nancy Grant
Executive Director
Bicycle Coalition of Maine