Teacher raises money to buy a bike for every student in her school

CREDIT: Charleston County School District

CHARLESTON, SC (WCMH) — Katie Blomquist teaches first grade at an elementary school where many of the students live in poverty. Last year, one of her students said how much he wanted a bike for his birthday, but his parents couldn’t afford to get him one.

“I started thinking about all the other kids who might not have bikes,” she said to TODAY. “We take a lot for granted and we forget that there’s a large category of kids out there who don’t have bikes. That was such a large piece of my childhood memories, and I immediately thought, ‘oh, they’re not getting that!’”

Blomquist said she thought about raising money for the little boy, but then thought about the other students who may not have a bike. She decided to raise money for the entire student body–so she didn’t leave anyone out.

She started a GoFundMe page called “Every Kid Deserves a Bike!” and ended up raising over $80,000.

The project took about a year to complete. Radio Flyer donated 100 big-wheel bikes and training bikes for preschoolers. A local business, Affordabike, customized the remaining 500 bicycles. Each one was named “The Future” and adorned with the words “Let’s go places.”

On Thursday, Blomquist and her community partners unveiled the bikes to kids at Pepperhill Elementary School. Click here to see more photos on the school district’s page.

“I made a really conscious effort to watch their faces and let it soak in and imprint in my brain when those tarps went up,” she told TODAY. “It was that moment I’ve been waiting for seven months.”

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