Today was the first time since I started the TFWAH Campaign that I was out running errands and not specifically looking for TFWAH recipients (or choosing a route where I might likely see kids on bikes). Of course, that doesn't mean I wasn't prepared with a handful of dollars should I come across one...or four!
The first recipient was a teenage boy with his mom outside Fred Meyer. The bikes were new and they had purchased helmets at the same time. As an aside, I wish bike shops just included a helmet in the purchase of a bike. I'd say, both mom and kid were pleasantly surprised.
The next kid was a young boy riding on the Woodland Trail with his mom. He had just had his birthday and they were on their way to Olympic Cards and Comics to spend some birthday money. I said, "Now you have an extra buck to spend just for wearing a helmet!". He was pretty shy, but mom said thanks. Another aside here--seems like today was "Mom and Son on Bikes Day". I was riding with my son too! Also, it's great to see people using their bikes to get around instead of jumping in their cars!
The third and fourth recipients were two sisters riding along the Chehalis Western Trail. They were too young to be out alone. I asked a gentleman riding behind them if they belonged to him. He said no, the parents were walking behind him. I stopped at the parents and asked if I could give their daughters dollars for wearing helmets. They laughed and said, "Sure!". So I turned around and caught up to the girls. I told them their parents said it was okay and I gave them each a dollar. The mom said something like, "See, you SHOULD wear your helmet!"
In my brief experiences with this project, I've discovered girls are more wary of a stranger talking to them than boys. Case in point, as I was going to a meeting last night, I passed two girls, about 11 or 12 years old, riding along Boulevard. Both were wearing helmets so I stopped and waited for them to catch up. I asked them if they would each like a dollar for wearing their helmets. They said, "No thanks." and kept on going. I don't think they didn't want a dollar. I think they were just wary. I suppose that's a good thing...I will just continue to try to reward kids for wearing a helmet!