Do you want to make your event a huge success? Check out these great ideas that have worked for your peers in their communities. Your outreach event now can focus on the importance of helmet safety and/or improving the fitness of the children in your community. TMA has all the educational and outreach materials you need to put on a first-rate event.
Almost every community has one or more organizations (hospitals and churches, for example) that sponsor health fairs. Health fairs are excellent venues to educate parents and children on the importance of wearing a helmet — and wearing it correctly. Helmet giveaways at health fairs have been extremely successful. One way to attract people to your booth is to promote that the first 100 people who visit get a free helmet. Or, you can hold drawings to win a free helmet and give one away every 15-30 minutes.
Bicycle Rodeos/Bike Safety Days
Organize a bike safety day at a local school or team up with a local police department. Texas police departments often sponsor bicycle rodeos for kids. These fun, hands-on events allow children to learn about bicycle safety through demonstration stations that focus on mounting and dismounting the bicycle, circling and changing directions, straight line control, weaving and maneuvering, stopping, and slow speed control. Add to the effort by lining up a local physician to speak on helmet safety and demonstrate how to fit a helmet properly on a child's head. Give participants a bicycle helmet to wear and take home with them.
Local festivals and events also provide a perfect tie-in for a bicycle helmet giveaway. Sponsor a booth and hold an hourly raffle/drawing for helmets. Some sponsors' entire event is planned around the product giveaways. For more fun, event sponsors add clowns, moonwalks, and bike decorating contests followed by a parade. Many enlist outside sponsors, such as a local bike shop and other local retailers, to provide snacks and/or door prizes (think water bottles, bicycle equipment, and even bicycles). Always contact a local physician to show parents and children how to wear their new helmet properly and to explain why it is important.
For volunteers at these larger events, contact local youth organizations, such as the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts, high school clubs, and church youth groups.
Make a presentation on helmet safety and the importance of fitness at an elementary school class. Then find creative ways to give away helmets. Hold a drawing or conduct fitness-related poster contests. Some sponsors give helmets every year to the first-graders or another selected grade to reach a new audience each year. Some schools give bikes for perfect attendance, another opportunity to give a helmet. Call your neighborhood school to see if you can get involved if they use bikes as rewards.
A Local H-E-B Store
TMA and H-E-B have a history of working together to improve the health of all Texans. H-E-B stores with pharmacies offer a ready-made venue for helmet giveaways in connection with their monthly Second Saturday health screenings. H-E-B allows sponsors to place their giveaway near the store pharmacy, the site of the Second Saturday events. The events, typically from 9 am to 2 pm, draw large numbers of families to the stores. H-E-B does not participate in the helmet giveaways but simply provides a venue for a Hard Hats for Little Heads event. Find out more...
Free Helmets and Shots
Combine a helmet giveaway with a TMA Be Wise — ImmunizeSM clinic for an effective prevention event in your community. A new helmet is sure to put a smile on the child's face after receiving his or her shots. Several TMA members have been successful combining these two great TMA public health initiatives.
New Medical Practices/Locations/Partners
Introduce the community to your new medical practice by giving away helmets at an open house. Or celebrate the addition of a new partner, a practice anniversary, or a move to a new location. Some physicians also sponsor health/safety days in their communities to stress the importance of car seats, helmets, fitness immunizations, and more.
Fun Runs, Triathlons, or Other Fitness Events
Tie a helmet giveaway to a local fitness event. With the growing obesity crisis among children, this is a great way to encourage safe and fun exercise. Many local organizations sponsor child or family health days, where a helmet giveaway would be a great addition. Or if you're working with children who could benefit from exercise, give helmets as an incentive for losing weight, following doctor's orders, and the like.
Speak Up for Kids CASA 5K Series: Consider tying a helmet giveaway with a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) 5K event in your community.
Holiday Bicycle Giveaways
Partner with local organizations that give children a new bicycle during the holidays. Provide a free helmet with each new bike so children can ride safely.
Provide helmets to children during well checks if they don't have a helmet. This is a great way to start a discussion on safety and exercise. Or have a fishbowl drawing to give away a few helmets during key months of March, Brain Injury Awareness Month, and May, Bicycle Safety Month; or have a monthly drawing year-round. Kids who visit during the month can enter their name in a drawing to win a free helmet.
Other Targeted Giveaways
Some sponsors partner with hospital emergency rooms to give helmets to children who come in for a bicycle-related accident and need a new helmet. Local police also may provide helmets to children they see riding without one.
National Remembrance Days
Tie a helmet giveaway or fitness event to one of the many national remembrance days celebrated throughout the year.
- Brain Injury Awareness Month (key month for events, TMA sends a news release announcing all events)
- Doctor's Day
- Child Safety Month
- YMCA Healthy Kids® Day
- Bicycle Safety Month (key month for events, TMA sends a news release announcing all events)
- Kickoff to summer
- National Emergency Services Week
- Physical Fitness & Sports Month (The President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports)
- Exercise is MedicineTM Month (American College of Sports Medicine and the American Medical Association)
- Cinco de Mayo celebrations
- Fourth of July parades
- Tour de France
- Back-to-school health fairs
- Immunization events
- Back to school (safety and exercise)
- Family Health and Fitness Day USA (last Saturday)
- American Diabetes Month
- PTA Healthy Lifestyles Month
- Holidays (when bikes and other wheeled sports equipment are popular gifts)