Bikes 4 Kids is a charitable initiative of CultureLink Settlement and Community Services, in collaboration with Cycle Toronto and founding donors Malcolm Mackillop and Brandin O’Connor of Shields O’Donnell Mackillop LLP.
A trip by bicycle can be transformative for children and youth: it is a chance to be outside, spending time with parents or caregivers and friends. Eventually, it fosters a sense of independence.
Active transportation allows us to experience our city differently in a healthy, sustainable way. Cycling is an important mode of transportation for trips between 2km and 5km, which can be too far to walk but may be out of the reach of transit.
Bikes 4 Kids builds on the award-winning Bike to School Project. We couple safe-cycling education for children with a bike giveaway at a school selected in consultation with partners in Toronto Public Health and the EcoSchools program at the Toronto District School Board (TDSB). The bicycles are supplied to the program by the generosity and fundraising of a local Toronto law firm, Shields O’Donnell MacKillop (SOM) LLP, and two of its lawyers, Malcolm and Brandin, who are cycling enthusiasts.
Message from the Founders:
Growing up on the East Coast, a bicycle meant freedom for Toronto employment lawyer, Malcolm MacKillop, of Shields O’Donnell MacKillop (SOM) LLP. It means the same to him today: an avid road cyclist, Malcolm believes in the power of cycling to stay active and move communities. Following his support for Lawyers International Food Enterprise (LIFE), Ride for Heart, Lawyers Feed the Hungry and the Merit Bursary Program, Malcolm founded Bikes 4 Kids to give back locally in a way that empowers young people in their schools and communities.
Brandin O’Connor is also a lawyer at SOM LLP and served as the President of the Board of Directors of Cycle Toronto. Brandin is an advocate for safe streets and believes that active transportation is an affordable and sustainable way to move a lot of people in a city where transit is lagging behind the needs of its diverse communities. Brandin and Malcolm hope that Bikes 4 Kids participants ride safe, follow the rules of the road, and see their communities in a new way, on two wheels.