Northeast Philadelphia family donates bicycles to children in need

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- "Let's not kid anybody. A child receiving a bike isn't going to change their life any, but for that one singular moment in time, the world's a happy place," said Chris Guinan.

A decade ago, he didn't know what to do with a handful of used bikes at his house. Then, the gears started turning.

Guinan donated the bicycles to children in need. Despite this, it wouldn't be the last time he had a bicycle or two at his house.

"It really wasn't some preordained plan," he said. "Soon, it took on a life of its own with other people kind enough to give us their bikes that needed some rehab or some refurbishing. It began to accumulate."

Guinan, a former rail division manager at SEPTA, partnered with his employer to collect bicycles via donations and the lost and found. Over the years, he has partnered with community members, Burns & Co. Waste Recycling Center, and Trek Bicycle Corporation to reach 1,300 donations.

Despite that high number, the Guinan family has only ever witnessed a handful of children get their hands on a bike.

"We would never impose on what we think is a moment between the parent/guardian and child," he said. "That's a moment that should be shared with them."

Guinan is able to deliver bicycles to Intercultural Family Services in South and West Philadelphia, Congreso de Latinos Unidos in North Philadelphia, and Shriners Hospital for Children. Each organization identifies children who could use a bicycle and makes most of the donations privately.

Throughout the years, Guinan has developed a tight family circle through which the mission is fulfilled.

"It's all, you know, a joint effort within the confines of my family. Seeing my son, my daughter, and my daughter in law all chipping in in some way shape or form," he said. "And then I look over and I see my granddaughter Sophia painting a bike that she knows is going to another child."

Guinan takes pride in teaching his children and grandchildren to give to those less fortunate.

"The child sometimes understands the whole purpose behind this effort better than the adults," he said. "I mean, they can't donate a bicycle, but she can donate her time."

To learn more or donate a bicycle to the Guinan family, visit their GoFundMe page or send an email to Cguinan8119@gmail.com

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