Retired Winnipeg couple donating bikes to refugees
Published Friday, August 19, 2016 9:24PM EDT
A retired Winnipeg couple have set up shop in their garage to fix and donate bicycles to refugee children in their community.
Gilles and Huguette Remillard decided to donate bicycles to the Refugee and Immigration Community Organization of Manitoba after they met a refugee family in their community from the Ivory Coast.
As demand for bike donations grew, Gilles Remillard, a retired farmer, began buying bikes off of Kijiji. He then turned their garage into a bike shop to polish up rusty bikes and fix broken ones in order to donate them.
“There are really no words to express their faces,” Huguette Remillard told CTV Winnipeg.
The Remillard’s not only buy and fix up the bikes but all deliver them to the recipients. According to Gilles Remillard, they like to deliver them so they can see the children’s faces when they see their new bikes for the first time.
“When other kids saw the bikes coming out of the van they’d say, ‘Hey, can we have a bike?’” said Huguette Remillard.
According to Aisha Hilowle, a refugee who received bikes from the Remillards for her children, receiving the bikes made her children so happy, in turn making her happy.
The Remillard’s always wanted to volunteer abroad and help those less fortunate than them; however their trip plans and dreams were put on hold when Huguette had a stroke. Luckily, they found an opportunity that was close to home.
According to Gilles Remillard, there is so much that these children don’t and can’t have, and being able to give them something so simple and fun like a bike makes it all rewarding.
“For them a bicycle would be like giving us a hundred dollars,” said Gilles Remillard.
So far, the Remillard’s have donated more than 100 bikes to refugee children. Gilles Remillard has also said that he will trade bikes with kids who outgrow theirs so that he can fix them up and donate them again.
With a report from CTV Winnipeg