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ABOUT
TRIPS
 FOR KIDS

Our story is rooted in the potential of kids and the power of biking to transform their lives.

Our founder.

Cat Weaver Trips For Kids Ottawa Founder mountain bike origin story, helping develop and get outside with free donated bikes charity

In 2007, Cat Weaver, an avid mountain biker, was gearing up to bring her own teenagers to a local high school mountain bike event. She asked around at their school to see if other youth would be interested in the event. Many wanted to join, but most did not have a bike or equipment. Some of the teenagers were new Canadian immigrants or refugees who arrived late in the school year and didn’t have the opportunity or the means to join other organized sports.

Cat reached out for help to her local mountain biking community and the response was incredible with many friends loaning their bikes and gear, and a local bike shop offering the use of their vehicle for the event. The new participants enjoyed the event so much that they were itching to get back on bikes and started asking Cat when they could go riding again.

Keen to respond to the need in the community, Cat started her research and came across the website for Trips for Kids National. Their mission statement aligned so perfectly with what she imagined offering to teens in Ottawa that her own daughter thought she had created the website herself! In 2011, Trips for Kids Ottawa (TFKO) became the third Canadian chapter of the organization and in 2014 it became a registered charity.

Over the years, TFKO has received grants from organizations like Ontario Trillium Foundation and Canadian Tire’s Jumpstart program. This allowed TFKO to successfully purchase and maintain a large fleet of bikes stored in retrofitted shipping containers located at Ottawa area schools.

 

The programs offer by TFKO are fun and safe outdoor activities welcoming anyone and everyone, regardless of socio-economic status, language barriers, gender identity, or skill level. An outing never starts without a hardy and nutritious snack baked by our local volunteers! “I half-jokingly say they come for the food and stay for the ride.” says Cat. 

 

As of 2022, TFKO fleet bikes are ridden 3-4 times per week with over 50 bike outings annually encompassing 844 riders.

 

In the off-season, TFKO also runs winter skating programs. In 2021, generous support was received from Jumpstart to provide youth participants with new skates, helmets and gloves.

Mission

Trips for Kids Ottawa’s mission is to enrich the lives of economically disadvantaged and at-risk youth through outdoor activities that help them to develop physical skills, gain environmental knowledge, form positive relationships and acquire leadership opportunities.

Board of Directors

TFKO is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors that sets policy, oversees financial management, and provides strategic direction to the organization and its volunteers. We are public servants, private sector employees, and private citizens who love the outdoors and want to share our passion with kids.

President: Mike Nash
Vice-President: Marc Brule
Secretary: Joanne Galloway
Treasurer: David Mirsky
Directors: David Nesbitt, Amanda Helmer, Rohan Ray

Who we are

Trips for Kids Ottawa provides recreational and educational activities, such as mountain biking,  snow-shoeing and exploring nature. Our activities principally take place on off-road trails, providing physical challenges and opportunities to learn new skills while affording the kids an opportunity to get outside and breathe fresh air. We serve all kids between 8-19 years old that want to participate. We loan bikes and helmets to kids that do not have their own.

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