The Issue: Lack of Helmet Use and Risk of Head Injury
In 2009, approximately 91% of bicyclists killed in accidents nationwide were reportedly not wearing helmets, according to data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Wearing a helmet can reduce a bicyclist’s chances of head injury—the most common cause of death in accidents—by 85%.
The Campaign: Distributing Bicycle Helmets to Youth
If this Grassroots campaign raises $300, then Helmets First! can distribute bicycle helmets to 30 youth from low-income families. During donation events, trained staff members fit each child with his or her own helmet. Helmets that fit properly help to prevent head and brain injuries that can result from bicycling accidents. Each additional $10 raised will fund a helmet for another low-income child.
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Working as a pediatrician in 2004, Dr. Joe Cangas noticed that many local children didn’t wear helmets while riding their bicycles. Concerned for their safety, he began talking to children at local schools and founded Helmets First! as his mission grew. As the Helmet Doctor, he conducts regular talks at neighborhood schools, clubs, and community centers, teaching youth about the importance of wearing helmets. His organization also runs events where it distributes free helmets to youth from low-income backgrounds after measuring their heads for the proper fit. Only with a proper fit are helmets effective at preventing traumatic head injuries. Since its inception, Helmet First! has donated more than 14,000 helmets to local youth.