- Earnhardt Auto Centers is collecting new and gently used bikes at 16 of its locations in September for the Recycle Your Bicycle campaign.
- The bikes will be given to foster kids this holiday season through the Arizona Association for Foster & Adoptive Parents program.
- Last year Earnhardt collected 700 bikes.
PHOENIX — Earnhardt Auto Centers is helping to outfit a younger generation with a set of wheels.
The southwest auto group is collecting new and gently used bikes at 16 of its locations for the Recycle Your Bicycle campaign through September.
The bikes, after being repaired and refurbished to look like new, will be given to foster kids this holiday season with the help of the Arizona Association for Foster & Adoptive Parents.
Often children enter foster care with only the clothes on their backs and this drive helps them participate in a normal experience of childhood — riding a bike.
This marks Earnhardt's third year participating as a collection center, said Vicky Van Dyke, Earnhardt's marketing director.
"They wheel them into the showroom, the service area or our parts warehouse," Van Dyke told Edmunds. "We've collected as many as 1,000 bikes."
In 2013, they received 700 bikes.
Many of Earnhardt's employees have gotten personally involved in the drive, donating their time.
"Some of our more mechanically inclined employees are helping repair them while others are manning phone banks for a local TV station, which is doing a fundraising drive to help buy supplies like new tires and seats," Van Dyke said.
While being a drop-off center gives the dealership exposure, it isn't why Earnhardt participates, Van Dyke explains.
"It creates goodwill in the community," she said.
Edmunds says: Wheels, whether on a bike or car, represent freedom and happiness, a belief Earnhardt wants to share with customers and children alike.