Can’d Aid: Providing Healthy Outlets for Children

Can’d Aid’s commitment to underserved youth helps to build a stronger community, one bike or board at a time.

Crowd of Can’d Aid kids
Photo courtesy of Can’d Aid.

Local nonprofit Can’d Aid is dedicated to providing healthy outlets for children in underserved school districts by donating bikes, skateboards, and musical instruments. In 2023 alone, Can’d Aid volunteers built 2,025 bikes, 583 skateboards, and donated 356 instruments, positively impacting over 2,900 elementary school-aged children across the United States.

Can’d Aid, a nationally recognized nonprofit, rallies volunteers from all walks of life to build thriving communities. Through an integrated approach, the organization distributes water; provides access and opportunities for underserved youth to experience music, arts, and the outdoors; and protects and restores the environment. The programs, fueled by people, power, and responsive to evolving community needs, create a transformational impact.

One of Can’d Aid’s standout programs is Treads + Trails, which aims to get children off screens and outside, living healthy, active lives. Since its inception, Can’d Aid has built and donated over 8,000 skateboards at more than 200 events with the help of over 10,000 volunteers. At each in-person donation event, a Treads + Trails Ambassador, often a professional skateboarder, teaches the kids tips and tricks to help them get started on their new equipment during a live assembly.

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Today’s children face an average of seven hours of screen time per day, and only one in five gets the daily recommended amount of exercise. Can’d Aid’s programs aim to combat these troubling statistics by providing opportunities for kids to engage in physical activities, crucial for their mental and physical well-being.

In 2023, Can’d Aid launched the GOGO (Give One, Get One) program in celebration of donating their 10,000th bike. Through this initiative, every purchase of a Can’d Aid bike results in an additional bike being donated to a child in need. Professional cyclists like REEB Cycles rider Jeff Lenosky, a worldclass freeride and trials mountain bike rider and longtime Treads + Trails ambassador, often accompany these donations, performing safety demos and showcasing impressive bike tricks to inspire kids.

“In our tenth year, we’re proud and humbled to have created this powerful movement of goodness,” says Can’d Aid founder and executive director Diana Ralston. “It’s incredible for so many individuals with such diverse backgrounds and interests to come together in meaningful ways and make a difference wherever it’s needed.”