For the second year in a row, a local manufacturer is donating dozens of bicycles to children in need across the community.
Denso Manufacturing Canada, Inc. ties the bike giveaway to the quality metrics achieved by its employees, said John Klassen, director of operations.
“The way it works is every team — if they go a week without any quality issues on their line — they get a bike part,” said Klassen.
At the end of the program, each team gets all their pieces and can then assemble their bikes.
Rich vanOorschot, Denso Manufacturing Canada president, said each donated bike also comes with a safety helmet.
“We actually have a bike inspector come in to make sure everything is good. Safety is our first priority and it’s a priority for all our associates,” said vanOorschot.
Last year the company gave away 37 bikes, this year it increased the donation to 40.
On Wednesday, the Guelph Neighbourhood Support Coalition picked up the bikes from Denso’s plant on Southgate Dr.
The bikes will then be distributed to various neighbourhood associations around Guelph, said Dan Evans, neighbourhood development supervisor with Guelph Neighbourhood Support Coalition.
“We chose four specific neighbourhood groups identified by the county as a priority," said Evans.
"So there’s more low income families and more single parent families who don’t always have access to extra gifts,” added Evans.
Brendan Johnson, executive director Guelph Neighbourhood Support Coalition, said the bikes are a generous gift and will go to families in need.
“It’s a nice added bonus for a lot of families that have an opportunity to give something really awesome for Christmas,” said Johnson.
The bikes come in a range of sizes, for children between the ages of about four to 12.
Johnson recalls receiving his first new bike when he was a child.
“It was the greatest feeling in the world. It felt like freedom, you got on it and could go anywhere you wanted and do anything you wanted,” he said.
Denso manufactures radiators, condensers, engine fans and cooling modules for automobile manufacturers like Toyota, Honda, Ford and GM.
“If you look under your hood you will probably see all sorts of Denso stickers on there — whether it’s on a radiator or an alternator or a starter,” said vanOorschot.
The Guelph plant employs about 700 people and is the only Canadian plant
Denso has 28 plants across North America. The Guelph operation is the only one located in Canada.
VanOorschot said it employs about 700 people locally.
The company also manufactures heating, ventilation and air conditioning units.
After two years of success with the quality initiative, Klassen said he would like to see the tradition expand in the future.
“I think we’re going to continue this and hopefully make it bigger and better every year,” he said.