Sunday, December 23, 2012, the Bridgeport Police Union, William B. Meyer, and other sponsors, gathered along with 300 inner-city school children and their families at Central High School gym for a bicycle giveaway – the largest of its kind in the history of Bridgeport.
The bicycle giveaway was designed to reward inner-city school children who had achieved academic excellence throughout the year. School social workers and guidance councilors helped the police identify 300 children. Most of these live in housing projects and homeless shelters, and many are 6-9 years old.
Police officers began organizing the logistics behind this event in October. A true community effort, funding came from various sources including local businesses, citizens and the Bridgeport Police Union itself. When a representative of the Bridgeport Board of Education contacted Paul Kennedy, Director of Commercial Sales – Office Moving for William B. Meyer, and asked for help in securing bicycle helmets for the children, Kennedy did not hesitate. “William B. Meyer has done a lot of work for the City of Bridgeport in the past and we have a good working relationship with them. When they asked us for help, my answer was immediate: yes.” William B. Meyer donated helmets to safeguard the children while on their bikes.
The atmosphere in the gymnasium at Central High School was electric. Children and their families sat in the bleachers and waited to hear their names called. One by one, each child descended, claimed their bicycle and posed with Santa for a photo. For many children, this bike would be their first. Their excitement at learning to ride was contagious, a true gift, just in time for the Holidays.