For Idaho children in the small town of Bruneau, it seemed as if Santa Claus might not be bringing much for the 2013 holiday season. This remote area of Bruneau has been hit particularly hard by the Great Recession, leaving the community little besides horses, miles of sagebrush, and many families facing economic distress.
After being selected for the USS Foundation’s Adopt-a-Bike contest, Bruneau Elementary School was challenged to beat 24 other schools by generating the most support on the Foundation’s Facebook page. With only 67 students enrolled at Bruneau, they were determined to show that it would not let its small size get in the way of victory. School staff and parents dedicated themselves to posting creative videos, pictures, and comments telling why their school deserved the bikes on the USS Foundation’s Adopt-a-Bike Facebook page, and their efforts paid off.
We saw an endless flood of commitment from parents and the community, who, in spite of the economic worries plaguing them, banded together. As a result, Bruneau exceeded all other schools in amount of Facebook support, making this the year they traded horseback rides down dirt roads for bike ride rides with friends. The USS Foundation was delighted to donate a bicycle and bike lock for for every student enrolled at the school. Helmets were also donated to every child with the generous help of St. Luke's Children's Hospital. An influx of thank you letters after our event expressed the students’ deep gratitude. To see this community with so little, offer so much love and support was a truly rewarding experience.
The event was made possible through the generosity of 2 Men and a Truck, St. Luke's Children's Hospital, TransOrient, Wal-Mart, Kip Bollin, Joseph Corbet, Craig Cunningham, Marc & Cindi DeYoung, Cita Doyle, Bert Flores, Will Fox, Paul Marino, Chad McIntosh, Mia and Robert Oberosler, Howard Peterson, Andrew Salisbury, Scott Sher, Bill Turner, and Karen Valladares.