VSU Administration Purchases Bicycles for Petersburg Youth

VSU administration partners with Petersburg for bicycle distribution to Petersburg children. 

Each member of the Virginia State University administration purchased a bicycle for distribution to a Petersburg child as part of a “VSU Gives Back” holiday initiative. On Thursday, December 16, 2021, the administration and other VSU employees collected and donated more than 30 bicycles. 

“I am beyond grateful to my administration for participating in this VSU Gives Back Holiday Initiative. Thank you to our Assistant Vice President of Communications, Gwen Williams Dandridge for spearheading and organizing this,” said VSU President Dr. Makola M. Abdullah. “At Virginia State University, we look for opportunities to give, to serve, and to partner. This bike initiative allows us to do all three while also making a difference in the life of several young children during this holiday season.” 

VSU partnered with the City of Petersburg for the bicycle distribution. The Petersburg Department of Social Services identified children to receive the bicycles and the Petersburg Public Information Office coordinated the distribution of the bicycles.  

“The City of Petersburg thanks VSU’s Leadership team for their contribution of bicycles to children in need in Petersburg. Too many children often make do with hand-me-downs,” said Petersburg Mayor, Samuel Parham. “By donating these bikes, VSU is giving many disadvantaged children an uplifting experience of receiving and enjoying something new during the holiday season. The bikes are also a great gift for encouraging our children to get outside and exercise. Petersburg appreciates the ongoing partnership with VSU and the University’s support of the city.”  

“Our children have spent the better part of nearly two years navigating the challenges of a pandemic.  Research shows that youth mental health is now a national state of emergency,” said Gwen Williams Dandridge, VSU Assistant Vice President for Communications. “This is our way of making a difference. We hope our donated bicycles will help to encourage the youth to get outside, exercise, and enjoy the beauty of being a child with the knowledge that their neighbors at Virginia State University care about their well-being.”