The Little Angels Program was created in 1980 as a grass roots effort to help low income youth and adults acquire a viable and healthy means of transportation - bicycling - and learn bike safety rules and guidelines.
Our mission is to address the mobility, health and safety needs of low-income populations by providing a simple but valuable service - free bicycles and bike safety education.
100% of Little Angels' staff are volunteers. We take donated, abandoned, and damaged bikes and damaged bikes and repair them to be fully-functional vehicles that we then donate to low-income populations throughout our service area.
Additionally, we provide bike safety education in collaboration with local schools, police forces and recreation departments.
Little Angels proposed starting date for projects is as soon as funds are available. Little Angels is an ongoing project.
Grants enhance our capacity to provide:
1) Bicycle education and
2) Bicycle repair and distribution activities at an array of events and sites throughout each program year.
Beginning in the summer, Willimantic's Third Thursday Festivals is just one of our events.
Other events and sites scheduled throughout the program year include: Natchaug Elementary School, Windham Center School, Windham Middle School, EASTCONN, 3 Kings Day at Eastern Connecticut Universtiy, Generations Health Center's health fair, Police and Recreation Department Events at Jillson Square in Willimantic.
1. The number of low - income people targeted annually through the Little Angels Program is
5,000. Because our outreach can vary depending on interest and need, the total people
served through this program can, accordingly, vary.
2. The concern that this program addresses is twofold:
1) the need for viable transportation
options in a region where public transportation is weak and
2) the need for education
on bicycle safety that will ultimately benefit not only the individual cyclist, but the
community at large. An indirect benefit of the program is, of course, that it encourages
cycling among youth and all populations, a clear health benefit in these times of rising
obesity and heart disease rates.
3. The Little Angels program has been in existence for 30 years, and received its 501(c)(3) status six years ago.
4. Little Angels Program activities for the upcoming year include:
1) Securing abandoned, donated or damaged bikes and repairing them to top form through an all-volunteer
staff/Board of Directors.
2) Marketing/Promoting free bicycles to low-income populations
through networking with local towns, public schools, police forces, public schools and
recreation departments to provide bicycle education to low-income populations. Start up
time for the use of grant monies is immediate, as we usually have over 100 bikes to work
on and distribute. The repair and distribution of the bicycles, as well as the bicycle safety
education, will continue regularly throughout the year.
5. To our knowledge, there is no other program in Eastern Connecticut that duplicates the
services provided through the Little Angels Program. Little Angels is unique in providing
free, working bicycles to low-income populations, and for building an extensive partnership
with the public schools, recreation departments, and police forces in our service area and
others in the effort to educate people in bicycle safety. Additionally, Little Angels is
unique among organizations in that its staff is 100% volunteer. Finally the Little Angels
Program supports the efforts of other community partners, such as the schools, recreation
departments, and police forces, in encouraging a healthy activity and compliance with
6. The Little Angels Program will continue to advertise its services on the local public access
channel of Charter Communications, Channel 14. Additionally, our Board members and
Directors will distribute leaflets in the community about our services and our presence at
upcoming events. Given financial resources, we will also place small advertisements in the
local daily and weeklies to announce our presence at upcoming community events. Through
our years of service, we have found that word-of-mouth promotion of Little Angels'
activities to key partners at the schools, police, town hall, and non-profits is extremely
7. The key qualification our organization has is passion for helping disadvantaged people in a
tangible way. We have been offering these services through our own sweat equity year
after year. The years of experience has translated into an efficient system of operating:
We know how to secure the damaged bikes, how to marshal the team to repair them, and
how to distribute them to those in need throughout communities throughout the State.
Our passion has also been the catalyst to our building and sustaining critical partnerships
with local police forces, schools, and recreation departments throughout the State of
Connecticut. Funds we receive enable us to serve more marketing information, provide
more educational materials and to serve more communities within the State of Connecticut.
8. The overall outcomes of the Little Angel's program is to increase the transportation options
of low-income populations, enhance their opportunity for healthy living, and increase their
awareness of safety practices for cycling. The success of the program is measured by the
amount of people who receive our bicycles and attend our educational events. This is an
easily quantifiable measurement.
9. We recognize our donors for supporting our projects in the following ways: 1) At every
event that Little Angels attends or coordinates, posters are present highlighting the
grantor's support of Little Angels and the people it serves. 2) We will include reference to
their support on the promotional flyers we distribute at events 3) In our networking with
community partners (police, schools, recreation departments), we will make a point of
noting the supportive role that the grant has played in our ability to deliver our services.
10. The funds we receive are needed as soon as possible to purchase the necessary parts
and tools for repairing our existing stock of bikes as well as additional bikes we will be
securing; to develop, copy and distribute educational materials to hand out at upcoming
bicycle safety awareness events; to ensure proper maintenance of and gas for our truck
which is the sole means of transporting bikes.