In a partnership with Friends of the Children-Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition and Metrolink, children in foster care and their parents had two fun opportunities to cycle together along historic locations in Southern California.
The foster kids, who come from Palmdale and Central Los Angeles communities, are all part of the Friends of the Children-Los Angeles, a mentorship-driven nonprofit organization striving to make a meaningful difference in the lives of children in the foster care system. The event was designed to provide a positive family bonding activity and promote healthy lifestyles.
The first event took place on June 26, when 30 foster children and their family members participated in a scooter tour of the Walk of Western Stars at the Newhall station In Santa Clarita. This landmark honors legends of Western film, television and radio who have contributed to America’s heritage in Old Town Newhall. The adventure began with a ride on the Metrolink Antelope Valley line into the Newhall Station.
Upon detraining, the group was met by the Los Angeles Bicycle Coalition for the afternoon excursion. The foster children had their own scooters and adults were provided with complimentary Lime scooters for the tour. After a 45-minute tour, the families enjoyed lunch at Newhall Park, sponsored by Bucca di Beppo restaurant and Earle Enterprises.
“Introducing young people to the fun of physical activity can start a life-long commitment to a healthy lifestyle and good habits,” said Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition Senior Director, Policy and Partnerships Kevin Shin. “These trips might be the impetus for a young person to open his or her horizons to future success.”
The families then rode back to the Metrolink Newhall Station for their return to Palmdale.
The second event took place on July 10, when 40 more foster children and their families from Central Los Angeles boarded a Metrolink train at historic L.A. Union Station for a one-hour trip to explore Claremont. Metrolink offered participants Lime scooters to use for this 45-minute ride through the Claremont Colleges and the Claremont Village. This excursion concluded with the reward of a sponsored healthy lunch waiting for riders at Cahuilla Park.
“For a young person, spending a carefree day enjoying the outdoors with an adult can be a life-changing event and especially so for children in the foster care system,” said Friends of the Children-Los Angeles Executive Director Thomas Lee. “Our goal is to support children and parents impacted by foster care, and a day of fun goes a long way toward helping families bond.”
At Metrolink, we stand behind local organizations such as Friends of the Children-Los Angeles and the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition through its Metrolink Cares initiative. This philanthropic initiative aims to offer support to the greater community of Southern California and the six counites Metrolink serve. We believe everyone should have the opportunity to explore and enjoy the outdoor space in Southern California, regardless of age or background.
“Demonstrating to families in the foster care system that there are people who care and can help them could be enough to get them through the rough patches that we all face,” said Metrolink Interim CEO Arnold Hackett.
Our team at Metrolink works to partner with local community-based groups for a wide range of social causes. From mentoring young people who are at risk of falling into a life of gangs and violence, to training persons with developmental disabilities, to connecting those facing challenging times with employment opportunities, to assisting fundraising efforts to improve health and wellness for all people — Metrolink Cares is a growing and ongoing initiative.
For more information about Metrolink Cares initiatives, visit the Metrolink Matters website.