When you have next to nothing, every little bit counts. Numerous local charitable organizations throughout our communities do what they can to help those in need. These organizations can’t accomplish their missions alone: they need our help.
To help out Compass, a local nonprofit that promotes foster youth and family services, our store managers from central Nebraska got together to build bicycles for fun. The fully assembled bikes were given to foster children in the Compass program in February 2017.
A Compass in Crisis
Compass helps place foster children with families willing to help in times of crisis. Founded in Kearney, Nebraska, in 2007, Compass changes the lives of at-risk youth and foster families in Nebraska with services that promote personal growth, healthy relationships, and connections to the community.
Their programs include:
- Foster placement
- Educational support and living skills for foster children
- Transitional living
- Family education
- After-school care assistance
- Family therapy
- Crisis management
- Community assistance
Compass supports hundreds of foster children, including around 100 in Kearney and 145 in Grand Island. Ryan Stratton, co-founder, and his wife have even fostered 25 children themselves. He says many of the kids in Compass programs come from abusive or neglectful situations and are in serious need of stability.
If you’d like to join Viaero in helping Compass, you can contact them directly for more information. According to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, there are more than 3,400 children in the system in Nebraska alone. They’re always looking for foster parents, but there are plenty of other ways to help.
Building for a Stronger Team
Our Regional Director, Chrestien Holton, wanted to kick off his region’s first meeting of 2017 with a fun team building exercise for store managers. He decided to have the team assemble bikes and donate them to a local charity. Holton chose Compass after speaking with Stratton and Savana Lyon, the project lead for Compass.
Dusty Maul, Chris Brown, Rusty Schelling, Kristen Martin, and local store managers all gathered together to assemble the bikes. They purchased bike parts for five bikes varying in size to accommodate children in different age groups. The store managers split into five teams to put the brand-new bikes together.
Many of the children who are in Compass programs only have a plastic bag full of belongings. We hope a bicycle would be a great addition to their lives. Lyon said kids who come from seriously traumatic situations benefit from a bike, the opportunity to enjoy physical exercise, and help them focus. Like Stratton, Lyon also fosters children in the program and speaks from experience.
We’re proud to make small and large contributions to our communities. On February 3, we handed the bikes over to Compass in our Kearney store. Compass told us the bikes would bring huge smiles to the kids’ faces, and that’s all we could ask for.
If you want to give time or resources to Compass, get in touch with them. Giving back to our local community is its own reward.