High Point University Builds Bikes For Kids

August 17, 2018

HIGH POINT — The faculty and staff at High Point University rolled up their sleeves to build bicycles this week as part of team-building exercises as they returned to campus.

As a result of their hands-on work, 116 children who didn’t have a bike received a new one on Thursday afternoon. All of the children, who are participants in day camps at the Carl Chavis YMCA and High Point YWCA, had received purple HPU T-shirts and were wide-eyed as they visited the campus and excited to get red and blue bicycles.

“It has just been phenomenal to watch the kids’ faces when they heard that they were getting a new bike,” said Heidi Majors, executive director of the High Point YWCA. “Some of the little kids were so excited they were crying. You could see the joy in their faces.”

Majors said one little girl told her she had been waiting for Christmas because her parents had said they couldn’t afford to buy her a new bike.

“I like the color red and I got a red one,” 9-year-old Kennedy Watts said. The Triangle Lake Montessori student who attends the Carl Chavis YMCA summer program said she hadn’t been able to ride a bike she once had after the tire blew out. “This is kind of like my first bike,” she said.

“It was very exciting. It was fun and very surprising,” said 10-year-old Taylor Humphrey, a Florence Elementary School student who attends the Carl Chavis YMCA summer program. She said she had outgrown the bike she had used to learn how to ride.

Carlvena Foster, vice president of the Carl Chavis Memorial YMCA, shepherded dozens of children into buses outside the Millis Center.

“They were just simply excited about getting the T-shirts and getting on the bus, not even realizing they were going to get anything else,” Foster said. “It is just a great exposure for them. This kind of thing plants seeds in their minds of what they can look forward to as they matriculate through elementary, middle and high school. Some of them have already said ‘I want to go to High Point University.’”

HPU President Nido Qubein spoke to 1,700 faculty and staff members who gathered for lunch in the Millis Center before the bike presentation.

“I’ve told you before, High Point University is High Point’s university,” Qubein said. “We have done so many things in this community.”

Qubein said numerous community nonprofits have been served by more than 1 million hours of student volunteerism.

Qubein said the HPU staff and faculty collectively decided to give bikes, along with helmets, to children who did not have one.

“It’s only a bike, it’s not everything, but it is symbolic of what this university stands for—to help others when you can, to reach beyond yourself and plant a seed of greatness in the life of another human being,” he said.