Bridgeville teen helping community during COVID-19 with bike program and charitable efforts

BRIDGEVILLE, Del.- A Bridgeville teen whose spent the better part of his life helping out others is continuing to do charitable work, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

19-year-old, Harrison Barnes, founded the Gear Up bike program back in 2014 with the goal of getting bikes to kids to help them be more active.

“We network with what they need, so if they need a mentor or a place to ride and work with different people and hook them up with that,” Barnes said.

Zander Whaley is one of those kids who received a bike.

“He wants to get kids on bikes and he also wants to make kids feel how I feel and make them feel like they can do anything,” Whaley said.

Barnes said since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic engagement with his Gear Up bike program has gone down.

“It’s really been slow, especially at first, people didn’t want to ask people, didn’t want to come pick them up,  people didn’t want to have them delivered,  so yea it kinda has been a rough road getting bike out to kids,” Barnes said.

But that’s not stopping him from making a positive difference.

Thursday he will be a panelist for Volunteer Delaware to speak about how others can build a diverse and inclusive volunteer team.

“Get more people involved, get more people so many different backgrounds to help out and because everybody can volunteer and be involved and the more people we have, more different people we have the better it’s going to be,” Barnes said.

Barnes has won awards for his charitable work, he’s even gone to the ESPY’s in Los Angeles for his Gear Up Bike program.

Barnes said even though we are in an uncertain time right now he is going to continue to do all he can to continue to help out others.

“I hope we just continue on with that I feel like we have decent momentum with that as an organization as a whole right now and I feel like we’re doing a lot of good especially with the circumstances that were given right now,” Barnes said.

Barnes said during COVID he made a bike challenge for kids to get them out riding while school was out.

Plus he adds,  he was supposed to go to the ESPY’s again year but because of the pandemic that changed.

He said tomorrow the Volunteer Delaware conference will be virtual and you can go check that out at tinyurl.com/reimaginingvolunteerism.

Categories: Coronavirus, Delaware, Local News