Tellepsen, a local construction company, hosted their fourth annual Bikes4Smiles event during the Christmas holiday. Tellepsen presented bicycles to various deserving Texas Children’s patients. Every year the event expands and this year was no exception. Along with the Woodlands Campus and Texas Children’s Pediatrics East, patients at West Campus were in for a treat this year.
All events began with a formal introduction of the Tellepsen team and their relationship with our organization. In 2015, Tellepsen participated in a donation project that ultimately led to the birth of the Bikes4Smiles event. Tellepsen’s Bikes4Smiles project was born in 2016, raising approximately 265 bikes. Today, with Texas Children’s patients added to the list of recipients, the company has donated over a thousand bicycles in total. Construction Manager of Tellepsen, John Brock, has been an integral part in producing this event since the beginning, and says that Bikes4Smiles is the best way to wrap up his year.
“I am always so excited to put a smile on these kids’ faces,” Brock said. “The fact that we are able to do more and more every year and expand to other parts of Texas Children’s makes everything worth it.”
Santa Clause also arrived to greet and entertain patients and their families. In addition, helmets were provided to each child that received a bicycle. They were distributed as part of the Bike and Pedestrian Safety grant program, funded by the Texas Department of Transportation. This program is within Texas Children’s Center for Childhood Injury Prevention, and is the lead organization for Safe Kids Greater Houston Coalition.
All Texas Children’s locations did a great job identifying deserving families and coordinating with Tellepsen on the delivery and presentation of the bicycles. With this being the first year for the program at West Campus, child life specialists and leadership went above and beyond to make this a memorable moment for their patients.
“This has been so exciting! When The Woodlands campus said the Bikes4 Smiles program was expanding to West Campus, we were really excited to be able to offer that to families and patients,” Child Life Specialist Sarah Beasley stated. “Being able to call the families and tell them was the highlight for us because the parents were incredibly excited and thankful.”
Texas Children’s Pediatrics East staff were very particular when they selected the bike recipients. Many of the children chosen are either being raised by a single parent or other family members. According to the practice’s staff, socialization is limited for most of the children because of their family’s lack of resources, time and energy. Therefore, when the Bike4Smiles event came around, they knew this would be the perfect Christmas gift.
“We have found that the families are often on a fixed budget, making things like, a bike, less of a priority for them,” Texas Children’s Pediatrics East Practice Manager Kria Hardy said. “Being able to gift the bikes to the children will not only assist the grandparents in resources, but will also provide an outlet for the children and families. On behalf of the Texas Children’s Pediatrics East we greatly appreciate and thank Tellepsen for the opportunity to bless our families with bikes.”
As families arrived to the locations, patients and their siblings were measured for their helmets then escorted into a room filled with bicycles.
“I like bikes so much; I’m so excited,” Texas Children’s Pediatrics East patient Max Garcia exclaimed! “I’m so ready to get my bike, this is the best present ever.”
The Tellepsen team, along with parents and Texas Children’s employees gathered and glared with gleefulness as the children sped out of the rooms on their brand new wheels. This is just one of many events that illustrates the bond and commitment we receive consistently from our community partnerships.
“This event was amazing! It was great to hear from the patients themselves how this was their first, or only bicycle,” Assistant Vice President of Texas Children’s Pediatrics Sara Montenegro said. “It is clear that Tellepsen enjoys connecting with our patients and their families, and it is great that they are able to be here with us to enjoy this moment as well.”