Grant Assists in Providing Students in Need with Bike Helmets for Safety
Mar 13, 2020 08:52AM
● By Erica Shames
Evangelical Community Health and Wellness has teamed up with Kelly Elementary School to provide bike helmets to students who need them. Wellness Educators Elissa Veldhuis and Deana Carson (left and right) recently joined Chris Ruhl, Kelly Elementary School Principal (center), as they prepared to greet and fit students who were designated to receive a helmet. The effort was made possible by a grant from the Lindig Lewisburg Foundation Fund at the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania.
Thanks to a grant from the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania, some Kelly Elementary students will be safer this summer.
The Lindig Lewisburg Foundation Fund at the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania provided the grant of $750 to Evangelical Community Hospital in January 2020. The funds are earmarked to purchase 125 helmets for students in need at the elementary school of the Lewisburg Area School District. Evangelical’s Community Health and Wellness educators will work with the school to properly fit each recipient with the appropriately sized helmet.
Lindig Lewisburg Foundation Fund was established by the late Charles F. Lindig. Through his will, he set aside a portion of his estate for the benefit of projects directed towards the religious, charitable, educational, cultural, recreational or economic welfare of the Borough of Lewisburg.
In February, students who were identified as potentially needing a helmet were sent a letter to their home asking if they wanted to be part of the helmet program.
Chris Ruhl, Kelly Elementary School Principal, said, “The idea for the program grew when a staff member noted some of our young students are without helmets, due in large part to cost associated with purchase. Providing helmets through the school allows us to meet student needs and to give them the opportunity to remain safe.”
On March 11, Evangelical’s educators spent a day at the school pre-measuring participating students so proper-sized helmets can be ordered. By May, just in time for summer and warmer weather activities, helmets will be delivered to the school and Evangelical’s experts will return to properly fit the helmets through strap adjustment and apply pads for the greatest protection.
In addition to delivery of the bike helmets to identified students, the entire school will benefit from bicycle safety discussions in each classroom. Evangelical Community Health and Wellness educators will inform all students on how to wear a helmet with emphasis on how their use can help prevent injury.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation recommends that all bicyclists wear helmets. Children 12 years of age and younger are required to wear helmets. Each year in the United States, about 800 bicyclists are killed and another 500,000 end up in hospital emergency rooms. Wearing a helmet can reduce the risk of head injury to bicyclists by as much as 85 percent.
Sheila Packer, Director, Community Health and Wellness at Evangelical, said, “It’s important for us to emphasize safety and prevention in the neighborhoods we serve. These grant funds make it possible for us to extend our outreach to those children who may not otherwise have access to a helmet and to speak with them one-on-one about bicycle safety.”
Evangelical is a non-profit organization that employs 1,900 individuals and has more than 170 employed and non-employed physicians on staff. The Hospital is licensed to accommodate 132 overnight patients, 12 acute rehab patients, and 18 bassinets. The Hospital serves residents throughout the Central Susquehanna Valley, including those living in Snyder, Union, Northumberland, and Lycoming counties.
About First Community Partnership of Pennsylvania
The Foundation works to improve the quality of life in north central Pennsylvania through community leadership, the promotion of philanthropy, the strengthening of nonprofit impact, and the perpetual stewardship of charitable assets. FCFP strives to create powerful communities through passionate giving. For more information visits www.FCFPartnership.org.