In 2022, Dogan Elementary School’s first graders watched covetously as their second-grade schoolmates were gifted bicycles courtesy of HISD’s partnership with Oxy and Wish for Wheels. They never would have dreamed that in a year’s time, they would be the recipients of bikes of their own, just in time for the holidays.
Wish for Wheels is a nonprofit organization that works with businesses to provide new bicycles to students at Title 1 schools. Since 2015, Oxy employees have volunteered with Wish for Wheels to donate brand new bicycles to second grade students at 10 HISD elementary schools. This year, 615 bicycles were distributed to students at Atherton, Bruce, Dogan, Isaacs, Kashmere Gardens, Henderson, Scroggins, Port Houston, Pugh, and Martinez Elementary Schools.
“This means the world to us because of two things,” said Principal Rim Mohamed. “Every child should have the opportunity to ride a bicycle because they truly get to experience the joy of childhood through [bike riding]. Secondly, some of our students have never had the opportunity to own or even ride a bike, so I’m excited that we are able to partner up with Oxy to be able to get these bikes for the entire grade level.”
Oxy employees gathered at Minute Maid Park to assemble the bikes so that their new owners could hop right on and start riding (only once the seat heights and helmet straps were adjusted, of course). Wish for Wheels has worked in partnership with businesses throughout the country to donate more than 82,000 bicycles since 2004.
“We are fortunate to have great partners like Wish for Wheels and HISD who share our commitment to making positive contributions in the community,” said Sam Lombardo, Director of Community Relations & Employee Engagement, Oxy. “Bikes provide children with an opportunity to grow their independence, develop healthy habits, and build confidence. Houston is Oxy’s home, so we are passionate about initiatives that help build a thriving local community while improving important outcomes like education and health.”