Insurance Commissioner and Safe Kids N.C. Chair Mike Causey recently announced the winners of four Safe Kids North Carolina awards for outstanding work in providing service to keep kids and families safe in North Carolina.
The Safe Kids North Carolina Outreach Initiative of the Year was awarded to the Fit It-Fix It Initiative, which began in the spring of 2019 when Safe Kids Durham County, coordinated by Theresa Chromling, RN, CEN, CPEN, CPST-I of Duke Children’s, was assisting at a Durham Housing Authority event set up by the Durham Fire Department.
With the help of the Durham Bike Co-Op and Safe Kids Durham County, the kids were being fitted with helmets and learning about bike safety. A little girl who had just received a helmet explained that she liked her purple helmet but her bike was broken. As a result, the Durham Bike Co-Op, Durham Fire Department, Durham Police Engagement Unit, Neighborhood Improvement Services, Durham County Library and Durham Safe Kids began the planning of what became a monthly “pop-up” shop to fix broken bikes for the kids in the Durham Housing Authority neighborhood.
The Durham Bike Co-Op brought tires, tubes, brakes, pedals and tools needed to fix the bikes, and volunteers from all of the agencies worked to make the children’s bikes safe again. The kids even pitched in to help by holding tools and asking questions of the volunteers. In addition, a total of 236 helmets were fitted and 182 bikes were repaired during the 10 events. Because many of the bikes were unrepairable, a total of 97 bikes were provided to children who needed them.
Additionally, the Durham Fire Department held a Holiday Bicycle Recycle event in December. For this event, 290 used bikes were donated at area fire stations throughout Durham over a two-week period. In total, 41 volunteers from the fire department, police department and the bike co-op completed safety checks and repairs on 166 bikes. A group of children from a Durham Housing Authority community came to the fire station to receive the bikes and helmets. The Durham Police Community Engagement Unit took the remaining bikes to children who had put their names on the wish list for a bike.
“The dedication and service that our Safe Kids North Carolina coordinators, coalitions, and volunteers provide to local families and children is remarkable,” said Safe Kids N.C. Chair Mike Causey. “It is my honor to congratulate all of our deserving award winners for their dedication to the Safe Kids North Carolina program and their hard work to keep families and children safe in their communities.”
This award will be presented on Monday, July 27 at the Durham Fire Academy.
About Safe Kids Durham County
Safe Kids Durham County is a non-profit agency located in Durham, NC. Because the leading cause of death and disability for children ages 1-14 is accidental and unintentional, our mission revolves around providing injury prevention education to the families of our community. Safe Kids Durham County operates under the 501C3 umbrella of the Duke University Medical Center. Lead agencies for Safe Kids Durham County are Duke Children's Hospital and Duke University Hospital Emergency Department. We are also one of many coalitions of Safe Kids USA, the first and only national non-profit organization dedicated solely to the prevention of unintentional childhood injury.