Public Info

The Salvation Army to Distribute More Than 100 Free Bicycles

The following press release is from The Salvation Army Plainfield Corps.

bicycle giveaway clipartTUESDAY, JULY 14, 2015 PLAINFIELD, N.J.The Salvation Army Plainfield Corps will hold its Fourth Annual Christmas in July Bicycle Giveaway on Thursday, July 23. This year, more than 100 local children will receive donated bicycles and helmets as well as participate in a Bike Rodeo given by Meadowlink’s “Safe Routes to School.”

“This is a labor of love for us,” said Lieutenant Luke Barney, Corps Commanding Officer of The Salvation Army Plainfield Corps. “Plainfield is our community, and we are thrilled to be able to provide bicycles to the children so they can enjoy the fun of riding.”

The popular bike giveaway is held twice-yearly both in the summer and winter. Over 100 bikes and parts have been donated by The Bike Stand in Scotch Plains, Jay’s Cycle Center in Westfield as well as Boys & Girls Clubs of Union County, Plainfield Club. Children will also participate in a Bike Rodeo given by Meadowlink, a non-profit that encourages kids through education to bike and walk more often. Instructors will teach the children about pre-ride safety checks; bike sizing and helmet fitting; bicycle handling and safety drills; and tips on how to interact with traffic.

“The Bicycle Giveaway rallies the whole community to ensure that one of the essential joys of summer—riding a bicycle—is available to every child,” said Union County Freeholder Chairman Mohamed Jalloh. “On behalf of the Freeholder Board, we are very proud to be part of this unique event, which combines fun, safety, and fitness.”

The following are other local organizations that have lent a hand to the event:

  • The Union County Freeholder’s Office will donate the bicycle helmets with funding provided by the New Jersey Division of Highway Traffic Safety;
  • Representatives of the Union County Police’s Traffic Safety Education Program and AAA Northeast NJ Division will be on hand to properly fit the helmets for each child; and
  • All the bicycles—which were previously owned—have been repaired and restored by Rich Albanese-DeMair of the family-owned Plainfield Dairy Queen.
  • The Plainfield Municipal Utilities Authority is contributing staff time and trucks to transport the bicycles to the site of the event.

“It’s amazing that my husband Rich has now restored 1,000 bicycles for the children of our area,” said Donna Albanese-DeMair of the Plainfield Dairy Queen. “The looks on the kids’ faces when they get their bicycles is just priceless. Now they can ride to school or work and also have fun while getting some exercise.”

The July event will mark the 1,000th free bike given away since the event commenced. Bicycle donations can be dropped off at the Plainfield Dairy Queen, 1367 South Ave. For children interested in getting a free bicycle at a future event, sign-ups take place at The Salvation Army Plainfield Corps at 615 Watchung Ave. Monday through Friday between 9am-3:30pm. For more information on The Salvation Army Plainfield Corps, please visit

[Media only: for more information on this program please contact Alexandria Hammond, Community Relations Manager,  908-851-8227 or]

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The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar The Salvation Army spends is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to

Stop by the Plainfield Dairy Queen at 1367 South Ave. The Albanese family has been proudly serving the community since 1975. It’s open all year. Now serving: hot dogs, BBQ beef, salads, wraps. They also cater parties, give tours and much more.

The Union County Traffic Safety Education Program has been serving the citizens of the County since YEAR. It runs the Child Safety Seat Inspection Center as well as addressing bicycle safety for children. Every Wednesday and Thursday, the County conducts free child safety seat inspections from 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at the Garwood First Aid Squad at 401 2nd Ave. No appointment necessary.

Meadowlink is a non-profit, public-private partnership that improves access to affordable transportation, reduces traffic congestion and promotes economic growth by working with business and government agencies to address the transportation challenges in Northern New Jersey. Under its EZ Ride brand, Meadowlink manages the state’s largest carpool, vanpool and employee shuttle programs as well as senior transportation, special transportation and bike and pedestrian services. Meadowlink operates in Bergen, Essex, Union, Monmouth and Passaic counties. For more information:; (201) 939-4242

Jay’s Cycle Center started primarily as a pet and hobby shop called Pet Land in Scotch Plains New Jersey in 1957. Sensing an opportunity in the bicycle industry, they started to sell bicycles and soon realized they had a knack for it. The shop is now located at 227 North Ave. East; 908-232-3250;;

The Bike Stand owner Steven Willis has been in the bicycle business for more than 30 years. He mostly sells Raleigh bicycles. Check out their website or visit the store in Scotch Plains and ask why. The Bike Stand is at 778 East Second Street; 908-322-3330;

Boys & Girls Clubs of Union County, Plainfield Club, offers many programs for children ages five to 18. One of its programs is the Buddie After-School Program, a high quality structured educational after-school program for young people in grades K-5. The Club is located at 530-534 West 7th St.;

AAA Northeast is headquartered in Florham Park and has branch offices in Roxbury, Union and West Caldwell. AAA Northeast provides automotive, travel, insurance, financial and educational services to residents of Essex, Morris and Union Counties. The Union office is located at 2317 U.S. 22 East.

Children’s Specialized Hospital is the preeminent provider of pediatric rehabilitation services and the largest pediatric rehabilitation health system in the United States. It has 12 locations in New Jersey. In Union County, the Mountainside facility is located at 150 New Providence Road.