phi·lan·thro·py - /fəˈlanTHrəpē/ - noun
1: goodwill to fellow members of the human race especially : active effort to promote human welfare
2a: an act or gift done or made for humanitarian purposes
b: an organization distributing or supported by funds set aside for humanitarian purposes
That is how Merriam Webster defines philanthropy. When you think of a small business you don't immediately think of philanthropy. Usually small businesses are too concerned about making ends meet to put very much time or effort into an event that doesn't immediately bust their bottom line. Mack Cycle is not one of those businesses. The owners and their staff are always doing events around town to give back to the community.
Saturday, April 24 was one of those days. The week leading up to the event the Mack team put out messages on social media for help building bikes and for help with the event itself. And the Mack community came through. Several customers and ambassadors stepped up to the challenge. 90 bikes were built and ready to go when I arrived on Saturday to help hand out bikes and fit helmets on the 90 foster kids that had signed up for a new bike.
Watching their little faces light up when they were given their bikes was so rewarding. The kids ranged in age from 1 or 2 years old to 17. There were some teenagers that were receiving a bike for the very first time and were being taught how to ride by our favorite Mack cashier, Georgia. For the teens receiving a bike may allow them to get to an after-school job, have a ride to school or just be a mode of transportation that will help them obtain a little bit of independence as they become adults. For the little kids this may be an introduction to a healthy obsession that keeps them active and engaged with the community.
All the foster families were so thankful and excited to receive the bikes and helmets. The kids were also very thankful and ready to start riding their bikes. We even noticed some blossoming riders we are sure to see on the MTB or BMX circuit some day. It was a good morning overall and great way to spend a Saturday morning for those of us who volunteered.
In a world where people are scrutinizing where they spend their money. It's nice to know that I am spending my money at a store that gives back to the community in so many ways. And allows their customers to be a part of the goodwill they promote around our community. There are many cycling stores in the area, but none of them compare to Mack Cycle in their community outreach and effort to promote human welfare.
Author: Mari Lovo