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Outliers: Exercising some charity for kids

By Modern Healthcare
Posted: July 20, 2013 - 12:01 am ET

Outliers believes that one of the great joys of summer is being able to step outside, strap on a helmet and tool around on our bike, enjoying the great outdoors. That's why we're touched to hear about a local group in Northern California that assembles and distributes bicycles to underprivileged children—year-round.

TurningWheels For Kids is the brainchild of Susan Runsvold, a nurse manager at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose. In 2003, she began raising money to purchase bikes for the hospital's pediatric patients who might not have otherwise received any Christmas presents.

She gave out 12 that first year, and in 2005, she started recruiting volunteers to expand the effort. Although getting a bike from Santa is certainly cool, Runsvold realized that the group could also help kids going through therapy and help improve physical fitness.

So while the group still organizes its Big Bike Build during the holiday season, it also distributes bikes to Santa Clara Valley's Pediatric Healthy Lifestyle Center, which addresses childhood obesity, and to local school districts. More than 18,000 bicycles have been built since the program got underway, and the group has even started repair clinics, where they've patched up about 1,000 bikes over the past four years.

Follow Outliers on Twitter: @MHOutliers

TurningWheel's latest Big Bike Build was held in June.

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