United Way – Build a Bike!


On Thursday, August 6, I had the honor to be at Heinz Field, along with 38 other teams.

Throughout the day, we were able to bring 137 smiles to 137 underserved kids, who were about to receive their first new bike. The day was part of the United Way’s FitUnited Initiative, which is aimed at mobilizing the community to improve the health and wellbeing of children.

When I was first asked to lead this task, I was excited about assembling (well, helping to assemble) bikes for kids. What I wasn’t prepared for, however, was what I would feel that day.

At some point during the event I thought: by helping to build bikes for others, I’m appreciating not only my current life more, but especially my childhood. As one of eight children growing up, we each had a bike and at least three of them were the same size. I was lucky. All of us were lucky. We are still lucky. We’ve made it! We have good jobs, our families, our vacation days, good times to enjoy, and bad times to learn from.

These kids are facing life with few resources, and I hope a new bike will bring joy to their homes and be something they remember forever in their hearts.

I would like to thank with all my heart Steven Massaro and Maureen Herbster for trusting me to lead this amazing group of four hard workers: Michael Clements, Dan Kiefer, Laura Petrak and RC Schultz. You all are amazing!

By volunteering for a day of service, you are not only helping the community in need, but the community is helping you to realize how small things can have a big impact in their lives and yours.

To learn more about the FitUnited Initiative of the United Way of Allegheny County, visit them at


Article by Mariela Viloria, Lead Estimator

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