As the holidays approach, the Texas Medical Association’s Hard Hats for Little Heads bike helmet giveaway program provides a way to put smiles – and safety – into the lives of children in your community.
The Smith County Medical Society and Alliance have made the Salvation Army Angel Tree project in Tyler a holiday tradition. Last year the groups supplied 600 bike helmets for local children during the Salvation Army’s bike giveaway.
“It is very gratifying to know the helmets were given to kids of low-income families when they received their bike at Christmas time,” said Debbie Pitts, a member of the Smith County Medical Society Alliance (pictured above far right). “And most importantly that they will understand the importance of bike safety and wearing helmets at a young age.”
Because of anonymity requirements, members of the county medical society and alliance weren’t present on distribution day to personally fit helmets, something the Hard Hats program recommends. However, Ms. Pitts said children received TMA’s bike safety and helmet fit information during the giveaway.
Alliance volunteers worked closely with the Salvation Army to determine children’s helmet sizes, based on sizes of bikes they would receive, Ms. Pitts said.
Family physician J. Mike White, MD, of Joshua,which is south of Fort Worth, has supported an annual holiday bike giveaway in nearby Mansfield for a number of years.
“Hard Hats has been a great benefit in our community as we have joined Bikes for Angels,” Dr. White said. “Each year we give away 300 bicycles and pair that with our TMA Hard Hats. What a blessing to pair safety with fun.”
Some of the helmets for Bikes for Angels have come through the Texas Academy of Family Physicians (TAFP), which provides helmets for any family physician-hosted giveaway. TAFP pays for 25 helmets for a giveaway, and TMA matches with another 25 helmets.
Texas Pediatric Society and Texas College of Emergency Physicians members also can receive up to 50 helmets at no cost. Both organizations cover its members’ cost to purchase up to 25 helmets, and TMA provides an equal match.
Any TMA Family member can purchase helmets. When you do, TMA boosts your giving power with a match of helmets (equal match up to 50). Helmets cost $7.85 each (including shipping). TMA also has free educational materials in English and Spanish to support your event.
Spotting kids around town riding bikes and wearing their helmets is the reward, said Ms. Pitts. “Many, if not most, of these children would not otherwise receive a helmet.”
To receive an order packet, contact Tammy Wishard, TMA outreach coordinator, at (512) 370-1470 or via email.
Hard Hats for Little Heads is supported in 2020 with a grant from the TMA Foundation.