A bicycle is more than a toy. It is a status symbol. A social lubricant. A feeling of normalcy. It gives freedom and control to a person lacking other means of transportation.
A cape, like a bike, offers an escape, sometimes from inescapable situations. Don a cape and we dare you NOT to strike a pose.
Capes and Bikes are transformative. This we understand intimately because creating transformative experiences is what we do.
When it came time to plan our own event, our annual Holiday Party, we wanted to do something transformative, a give-back program that would go above and beyond.
The Yellow Brick House is a local organization that assists abused women and children. One of our team members, Brett, had had some personal experience with them. When he redecorated his house a year ago, Brett and his wife donated several pieces of furniture, some of which went to an abused woman who was transitioning out of Yellow Brick to an apartment of her own.
“I suggested to our team that Yellow Brick House would be a great organization for us to help as it’s quite common for these survivors to escape with nothing but the clothes on their backs.”
Happy Soul Project: The founder of Happy Soul Project began a superhero cape making initiative for kids with cancer, giving interested parties the option of donating, making, buying or sewing–any little bit to put Kick It Capes on the backs of the world’s biggest little heroes.
“Tara, who is the founder of the Happy Soul Project, is a friend of mine,” says Rebecca, a Meridican team member. “She developed the program after her son’s friend was diagnosed with cancer. She wanted him to have a superhero cape for his chemo treatments. Sadly, Maiysn “got his wings” in December, losing his battle with cancer. In response, Tara put out a request for extra capes over the holidays in honour of Maiysn, and I knew we needed to help.”
Dressed as Santa’s Helpers (Three Mouse-ka-Deers, French Hens, Ghosts of Christmas Past, Toys, Polar Express, Baking Beauties) we split our staff into eight teams of four. Half the teams built bikes, while the other half made capes. Then we switched. In total we built eight bikes and made 16 capes.
Brett approached local retailer, Station Ski & Ride, about purchasing the bikes at cost. Mark, the owner of the store, agreed, and also kindly offered one of his staff to assist with the bike building (to make sure they were put together correctly and safely), loaned us bike stands to make assembly easier and included one year of free tune ups to the bike recipients.
Meanwhile, Rebecca was busy sewing the capes, which were later decorated at the party using felt designs and iron-on glue.
“It was an incredibly rewarding experience,” says Rebecca. “There was so much creativity and love poured in to each cape and bike.”We hope the capes we created are as unique as the incredible children who will receive them.”