MANCHESTER, NH – The Shoppes at South Willow are not ready for holiday retail shopping quite yet, but in the meantime Shane Brady and Arthur Sullivan of Brady Sullivan Properties are making good use of the space.
Around the back of the building they created a pop-up bicycle warehouse where 1,000 bicycles, purchased by Brady Sullivan and assembled by local Walmart stores, are now being delivered in batches to various communities served by the real estate developers, across New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
On Saturday Kim Brady, and son Shane Brady Jr., 17, were joined by Holley Ackerson, who handles marketing for the company to load up some more bikes into UHaul trucks and send them out in time for Christmas.
Lists were made and checked twice of those in need, as identified by Brady Sullivan employees. In Manchester bikes will be taken to Girls Inc., Habitat for Humanity, Families in Transition, the Webster House and Moore Center Services to help coordinate final delivery.
Saturday’s bikes were heading to Carey House in Laconia, said Kim Brady, who explained why so many bikes.
“We’ve done as many as one hundred bikes in the past, but this year we extended the giving to include communities in Massachusetts and Rhode Island,” Brady said. “It was a big task to figure out how to get 1,000 bikes this time of year, but Walmart knocked on our door and said they were willing.”
Manchester and Bedford Walmarts were able to come up with 500 bikes from each location, purchased by Brady Sullivan and assembled by Walmart.
“Assembly was huge – and the smallest bikes all have training wheels,” Brady said.
Ackerson said it wasn’t hard to identify local organizations to help distribute 1,000 bikes.
“We talked to a lot of organizations that typically get gifts to distribute this time of year, and found that many of them were a little underfunded,” Ackerson said.
Both Shane Brady and Arthur Sullivan have deep Manchester roots, and both had humble beginnings. Making sure the company’s success includes involvement in the community and finding ways to give back has been a cornerstone of the business, Kim Brady said.
“We have children of our own and we feel it’s so important to be active in our community in this way,” Brady said.
In this case, a thousand bikes means a thousand smiles on the faces of those on the receiving end of the bike giveaway.
“We can all relate to that first bicycle – my son still has his first bike. It means that much to him,” Brady said. “We tried to give it away but he wouldn’t let us.”
Her son does not deny he carries a torch for his first-love bike.
“Every kid deserves a new bike,” said Shane, who attends Trinity High School, and came Saturday ready to roll out bikes. He walks over to a row of pink bikes with silver streamers coming out of the handle grips, trying to figure out how many to load on the the truck for this day’s bike delivery run.
Kim Brady said most of the bikes will go to kids between the ages of 3 and 17.
“We know at Carey House, for example, there are some adults who are otherwise without transportation, so we have bikes for them, also,” Brady said.
⇒ WATCH: Pop-up bicycle warehouse at The Shoppes at South Willow.