The Eastside YMCA organized and hosted the camp. This was year four that the YMCA has partnered with iCan Shine to bring this unique opportunity to the Greenville area. Lindsay Buckles, a development specialist for the Y, said that several years ago the Downs Syndrome Family Alliance of Greenville
approached the YMCA with the idea of making the iCan Bike camp a reality for the Greenville area. Many of the riders who attend camp learn about it through connections with the Down's Family Alliance and also through the other disability support groups that exist in the Upstate.
|Sam and Manda|
I found out about this volunteer activity through our church's newsletter. Grace http://gracechurchsc.org/ encourages those who are a part of the fellowship to be out in the community serving. I reasoned that this was a small something that I could do. I had visions of younger children needing just a little help. I have often found myself in over my head and this foray was no different. Spotting budding bike riders is not for the faint at heart, especially as their skills literally take off.
|Tandem bike time|
The families were encouraged to take to the floor and spot their own child so that they felt comfortable as their child gained more skills at home. The YMCA foundation provided funding for each rider to take home a brand new bike. I loved seeing the confidence build on the riders' faces as they found success through this amazing program. I loved seeing the smiles on the volunteers faces as well.
I am personally thankful for Dr. Richard Kline and his vision to design such a bike. I am also thankful for the folks who spend their summers traveling from city to city. The days are long and strenuous for all of the Mandas and Sams in the iCanBike program.
This is one of those opportunities where those who have been rescued by Jesus can become literally hands and feet to those around us. I came home each day pretty tired from my 75 minute workout. Some of the volunteers stayed for more than one session each day. I am still wowed by that.
Next year iCanBike will be back in Greenville or maybe another iCan camp will be coming to your community. Jump in and be a volunteer. Jump in a be a sponsor. It is one of those ways that we can punch holes in the darkness and make a positive impact on individual people's lives.
For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.