Tellepsen kicked off its seventh annual Bikes4Smiles drive for local children who could use a reason to smile this holiday season. The campaign runs now through December 16 to collect and donate bikes for greater Houston area children who likely wouldn’t receive such a special gift otherwise.
The joy, confidence, sense of responsibility, and independence a child receives from owning their own bike is immeasurable, especially to those battling illness or financial insecurity. Just before Christmas of 2016, while managing a large project at Texas Children’s Hospital in the Woodlands, the project team had an idea of how to spread some smiles to the young patients who were fighting through illness. They reached out to Texas Children’s Hospital asking if they could donate bikes to some of their patients. That first year, they collected and donated dozens of bikes to many of the patients and their siblings.
That’s the year Bikes4Smiles was born. Within just a few years, it grew from a local effort on one project site to a beloved annual companywide event. Since then, Tellepsen, along with the support and generosity of their clients, project partners, and employees, have brought smiles to 3,547 Houston area children and counting.
This year’s Bikes4Smiles campaign runs through December 16, at which time Tellepsen employees will gather to share in the blessing of the bikes. The bikes are then distributed in person and in partnership with the US Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys 4 Tots program and several additional organizations, spreading smiles across the area.
While Bikes4Smiles may have been started in 2016, the seed for this program was planted 113 years ago when Tellepsen was founded in Houston in 1909 by Tom Tellepsen. Mr. Tom was an emigrant who left his home country alone at age 14. After personally benefitting from the generosity that Houston is so well-known for, Mr. Tom dedicated his life and his company to giving back to the community that had lifted him up and given him an opportunity. Now in its fourth generation of local family ownership, Tellepsen still practices one of Tom’s original founding values: to be a part of something greater than ourselves. There is no doubt these bikes would have brought a smile to Tom’s face as well.
If you or your company would like to participate in Bikes4Smiles, please call Tellepsen at (281)447-8100 and we will connect you with the Bikes4Smiles team.
Tellepsen Annual Bikes4Smiles: spreading smiles to children across the greater Houston area