TAMPA, Fla. - Tampa-based nonprofit Onbikes is hosting hundreds of volunteers Friday at Amalie Arena, turning the venue into Santa's workshop for its annual bike build. Santa's Bike Build is a yearly tradition ahead of the group's Winter Wonder Ride.
Organizers describe Santa's Bike Build as a one-of-a-kind event where volunteers help build the bikes that will go to at-risk kids throughout Tampa Bay.
"We'll be getting our hands dirty, laughing, and learning together as we construct these amazing bicycles from scratch," the group said in a social media post. "When we're finished, all the bikes will be shipped out and donated to kids in need who may never receive a bike without your help."
The bike build typically consists of more than 1,000 volunteers from across the region. It takes place Friday, Dec. 2 at Amalie Arena during two shifts from 12-7 p.m. The first shift from 12-3 p.m. is sold out, however, as late as Friday morning volunteers could still sign up for the second shift from 4-7 p.m. Volunteers interested in signing up should RSVP here.
According to the nonprofit, Onbikes was formed in 2011 when a group of friends organized a community bike ride during the winter holiday season to raise funds so that at-risk kids could receive their very first bike.
"It was an incredible success," the group says on its website, "and it was then that Onbikes was born. At Onbikes, we are simply doing our part in restoring the self-confidence, health, and overall well-being of at-risk kids in our community."
The Winter Wonder Ride will be held on Saturday, Dec. 10 with musical artists LOCASH and a special guest emcee Tampa Bay Lightning's Pat Maroon.