100 children at Edwards get new rides for Christmas

Air Force photograph by Kenji Thuloweit

Dozens of bicycles for all ages wait to be claimed by Edwards Airmen and their families courtesy of the Edwards First Sergeants and Northrop Grumman.

A truck filled with brand new bicycles arrived at the Base Exchange parking lot Dec. 21 where 100 children and their parents were patiently waiting to receive them.
Volunteers from Northrop Grumman at U.S. Air Force Plant 42 in Palmdale, Calif., unloaded small, super hero-themed tricycles, boys and girls bikes and mountain bikes. The Huffy-brand bicycle kits were purchased by Northrop and assembled by employees during their build-a-bike event at their Palmdale facility.
The assembly was done by an employee resource group, VERITAS — Veterans, Employees and Reservists Inspired to Act and Serve. 
“It’s a hugely successful event that gets a lot of support because the end result is amazing,” said Northrop Grumman employee Andrew Boykin. “To be able to spend a bit of time assembling a brand new bicycle that’s going to enhance and help make wonderful a child’s holiday season is a hugely rewarding endeavor that we’ll continue to do for years to come.”
The Edwards First Sergeants Council assisted Northrop Grumman in their donation by identifying military families that would benefit from some extra assistance during the holiday season. After coordinating with superintendents and direct supervisors, the first sergeants provided a list of ages to Northrop to ensure that children ages four to teen received the right sized bike for the holidays.
“As first sergeants, this is our main job, taking care of Airmen. It means a great deal to us as a council to be able to receive charitable donations and to able to work with such amazing civilian personnel,” said Master Sgt. Laura Magas, Edwards First Sergeants Council president. “Without the support and generosity of the local civilian agencies, our job would be much harder. We appreciate everything they do for us. And I know that the military families that are undergoing financial hardship appreciate the support as well.”