Written by Josh Crane, Marketing
MT. ZION, NC – In May 2018, Fathom partnered with nonprofit, Going Places, to surprise schoolchildren with brand new custom bikes and accessories at Mt. Zion Elementary school in Johns Island, South Carolina.
On the sunny morning of May 1st, Katie Blomquist, (Going Places Founder) Marco Fregenal, (Fathom COO) and various other partners and sponsors came together to surprise disadvantaged schoolchildren at Mt. Zion Elementary School. 300 brand new, custom-built bikes were given away that morning, along with helmets and locks.
Katie recounts that they hid the bikes behind a firetruck and moving truck. “We brought all the kids outside,” She says, “They chanted ‘move those trucks,’ and the trucks moved, and behind them revealed all the bikes. The kids were overwhelmed.”
Mt. Zion Elementary is a Title 1 school and most of the students live in impoverished conditions. For many of them, these new bikes are the only things they claim as their own. So, reactions to the new bikes were extreme in many cases. “One kid literally fell to his knees when he learned he was getting a bike. The nurse told me he was physically shaking head-to-toe in the classroom. He kept on saying, ‘I can’t believe I get a bike. I get that bike?’”
This giveaway is only one of the many giveaways and events Blomquist has been able to host with Going Places. Her mission with the organization is to “Provide disadvantaged kids with their most basic childhood right – a right to joy.”
Going Places organizes several events a year not only with bikes, but also with halloween costumes and small gifts for school teachers. Blomquist says, however, the bike giveaways will always be the staple of the Going Places organization. “Dating back to black and white photos, kids have been participating in very specific childhood memories of joy. And riding a bike is probably the number 1 thing. We want to make sure that no child is growing up missing out on those memories. These kids have been handed a hard life, and this is something I don’t think they should miss out on.”
Fathom has been able to donate a total of $15,000 to Going Places, and Fathom’s COO, Marco Fregenal, sits on the nonprofit’s board.
If you would like to learn more or donate to Going Places, visit their website here.
Edited by Geoff Stertz