Bikes for the World

Friday, April 19, 2013

Why Wait For Christmas...

Courtesy Kristi's Christmas
 The time to ride is NOW.

Go slow and take your time as you travel on your way;
Follow your heart, go for your dreams no matter what others may say.

You’ll have many precious moments that too soon become the past;
Do things that will make you happy and make memories that will last.

Kristi Lynne Brown
March 16, 1968 – June 24, 1987
1986 WSHS graduate

Bikes for the World is proud to be part of Kristi's Christmas, a local organization dedicated to providing items to selected Fairfax county kids in need. Kristi Brown was a young woman who died in a tragic beltway accident in 1987. Her parents established this fund in her name and memory to honor her giving spirit. Kristi was also a heart, kidney, and cornea donor.

Courtesy West Springfield Rotary & Irving Middle School
 On April 13, 2013 the West Springfield Rotary, whose motto is "Service Above Self", along with Irving Middle School and West Springfield High School hosted their second annual bike collection with Bikes for the World. The group netted 94 bikes topping last year's collection of 61 bikes (also an impressive turnout).

Philip Dondes, a West Springfield Rotarian and new BfW collection manager, approached BfW about donating some bikes locally. Although most of our bikes are donated overseas where mechanics are readily available to recondition our donated bikes, Dondes pulled together a one time partnership between the Rotary, to collect bikes, Bikes for the World, to donate the bikes, The Bike Lane, who agreed to do free safety checks on the bikes, and Kristi's Christmas, who would help identify possible recipients. The latter two are very important criteria for BfW to consider a local donation.

Bikes for the World helped identify a select number of kids bikes for this program. Dondes then had these bikes transported to The Bike Lane, a local bike shop, who did the safety checks and in some cases swapped parts around to make 13 usable safe bikes to donate to Kristi's Christmas.

Irving Middle School
The Middle School students inspired Dondes who found it rewarding to be surrounded by their young, giving spirit."I never got the feeling the students wanted to be elsewhere," said Dondes.

Kristi's Christmas has special ties to the Springfield school district where Kristi was a West Springfield High School graduate. The organization partners with students at the high school to serve as a 'buddy' during their huge Christmas event.

All Fairfax county school administrators and counselors identify the neediest children in their districts for this program. At Christmastime, Kristi's Christmas partners each child up with a high school student who accompanies them for breakfast, a shopping spree at Target, and finishes with a visit from Santa.

But the donations and support come in year round. Other donated items distributed throughout the year include books, sleeping bags, food, backpacks, clothing, and real soon BIKES! All thanks to the hard work of Irving Middle School who helped advertise, collect, and process all these bikes for Bikes for the World. And let's not forget the West Springfield Rotary for organizing the whole thing, bringing it to our attention, and seeing it through. We hope to bring you an update on the distribution of those bikes when it happens in the next few weeks.

Kristi's Christmas has ABSOLUTELY NO OVERHEAD. All donations go to the kids of Fairfax county. If you'd like to learn more or help this program please visit  

To learn more about the West Springfield Rotary you can contact Philip Dondes at

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