Giving back pays off.
It was an early holiday surprise for over 50 boys and girls – foster children placed by the New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) — thanks to the Brooklyn Nets hosting a Build-A-Bike event.
The kids, along with 100 volunteers, gathered in the atrium in the Barclays Center to build bicycles for charity. What the young builders, ages seven to 10, didn’t realize was that once they’d finished assembling the bikes, they were able to keep them as gifts, along with Bell Helmets.
The children and their families were joined by Nets players Deron Williams, Jarrett Jack, Jorge Gutierrez and Jerome Jordan, who congratulated the kids for their hard work and giving spirits.
“It’s a great event,” said Williams. “These kids are foster children, probably had a tough upbringing and for them to be here building bikes for what they thought were other kids and then turn around and realize it’s really for them, is nice. The best part about today is seeing the kids’ smiles.”
Professional BMX bike rider Nigel Sylvester was also on hand to perform stunts for the kids who were wowed by the tricks.
The event volunteers also received a sense of satisfaction giving back. “I wouldn’t have gotten here without other people contributing to me, helping me,” said volunteer and Barclays Center employee Mia Hall. “It feels good to give back to next generation.”
“Not a lot of kids can afford a bike to ride and have fun on it,” said one of the young volunteers, Jesse Hamilton. “It’s good to give back to the community so kids not as fortunate can have these things.”
Several of the children were then allowed to take a victory lap and ride around the arena’s concourse, then take photographs with the ballplayers.
“The best part of it was them just thinking they were trying to help other underprivileged kids and try to provide them with some joy in the holidays,” added Jack, who said that he had enjoyed listening to the kids explain how they built the bikes. “You never know how your service can turn into a reward for yourself and that’s what happened today.”