Helmet donation aims to promote bike safety among children

MANDAN, N.D. - Parents aren't the only ones who encourage children to be careful when riding bikes or skateboards.

The Mandan Police Department is one of many agencies giving youngsters ice cream tickets to promote safety.

A talk at dinner between two friends about the Mandan Police Department's Ice Cream ticket program, which encourages children to wear their helmets while they're biking, started an initiative for one pharmacy technician.

It's the time of year where officers are handing out ice cream tickets to children wearing their helmets.

"Wear your safety equipment, whether you get a treat or not. It's so important, it saves lives," said Jason Ziegler, Mandan chief of police.

But sometimes not everyone can afford a helmet.

"He can only give them out if they have a helmet on," said Sarah Davis, pharmacy technician at Mandan Medicine Shoppe.

She's talking about Mandan officer Shannon Reichenberg.

"So he's like wouldn't it be great if someone could just donate some helmets to people that are less fortunate or can't afford a helmet?" said Davis.

Then a thought cycled through their minds, which led her and her coworkers at the Medicine Shoppe to do something.

"When we talked about it, everyone right away said, 'hey, lets do it. We'll chip in, we'll help out,'" said Bob Gustafson, owner of Mandan Medicine Shoppe.

They collected money and bought more than a dozen helmets.

"I feel bad for children that parents can't afford a helmet or don't have one and they're running around unsafe," said Gustafson.

The Mandan Police Department says this gift will come to good use.

"When you hear about the need and some kids that can't afford helmets, to me it's very difficult to go out there and try to enforce a helmet law on someone who can't afford it," said Ziegler.

Ziegler says they also got a donation from Metlife.

The Medicine Shoppe in Mandan hopes more businesses and community groups pitch in and help the Mandan Police Department collect some of these helmets to give to children across the community that can't afford one.