1 Parents Love It!
History of Going Places: 'Going Places' was inspired in the spring of 2016 when a little boy in my 1st grade class and I were out for his birthday (he was a student I made an extra special bond with and noticed he needed some extra attention and a reason to be motivated). We were at Walmart picking out some gifts for his birthday and he wanted a bike. It shocked me he didn't have nor had he ever had a bike. Being a teacher, I couldn't afford one, but it got me thinking about how many other kids in my class and school didn't have a bike either. It was something that I couldn't get off my mind and it really bothered me knowing so many kids were growing up without the memory of joy that owning a bike brings. As a society, we all have these accumulated memories of specific childhood joys like riding a bike that I think we take for granted and we just assume everyone has.
I knew it wouldn't feel right leaving anyone out so I decided that I wanted to get all 650 students in my school a brand new, high quality bike. So I started a GoFundMe campaign and soon Affordabike, a local bike shop immediately jumped on board and let me help custom name then and pick out their color.
A bike, as one example, provides a sense of freedom, a sense of escape, a sense of ownership, and basic, untainted childhood joy. There are already so many wonderful organizations out there that provide services to children of things they need like food and clothing, but there are not many programs out there that provide low income, high poverty children with things they deserve simply because they are kids.
Little did I know how fast this campaign would take off. It went viral, and almost every news station in the nation wrote stories on it, including The Steve Harvey Show which flew me out to Chicago to be a guest on the show where Steve donated a generous $20,000. TjMaxx also selected me to be highlighted in a week long Twitter campaign focused on inspirational women in society who are doing something for others, and this attention also raised $2,000 for the campaign. The NBC New York Nightly News with Lester Holt even covered the bike reveal as well as The ABC World News! We have been mentioned in Time Magazine, Post and Courier, Huffington Post, USA Today and online The Today Show, Inside Edition, and Good Morning America covered it.
Seeing the local and national community come together in such a positive way to support our North Charleston title 1 children inspired me to further work on this project with a larger goal in mind. Now, currently, this organization is 'going places' in the local community, and eventually, I hope to impact the country, changing lives and bringing joy to underprivileged children.
"Going Places" will be proving joy in more ways than just bikes but also with swim lessons, camp experiences, Halloween costumes (joys people have been growing up with for decades), and there will also be a section that focuses on providing joys to the teachers that work in these schools. We are a nonprofit recognized by the IRS as a 501-c3.