The inspiration for Trips for Kids® came in 1986, when founder and director Marilyn Price was pedaling up Mount Tamalpais, gazing at San Francisco. As a frequent volunteer at St. Anthony’s Dining Room in the heart of the inner city, she thought how wonderful it would be if these kids could join her. Most had never seen their city from that perspective. Most had never challenged themselves physically. All spent their days surrounded by cement as well as constant exposure to drugs, violence and gang involvement. It was then that Marilyn's vision for Trips for Kids began to take shape.
After functioning as a pilot program for two years, Trips for Kids incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1988. Since then, with the help of hundreds of volunteers, many thousands of disadvantaged kids from throughout the San Francisco Bay Area have experienced the natural world from the seat of a mountain bike.
The program expanded dramatically in 1994 with the establishment of the Re-Cyclery bicycle thrift shop, and an Earn-A-Bike program. In addition to providing great deals on bikes and parts and affordable transportation for Bay Area residents, the shop funds a majority of Trips for Kids program costs. Meanwhile, the Earn-A-Bike program teaches youngsters valuable life skills in a safe environment.
Encouraged by our success in San Francisco and by others interested in starting similar programs, in 1999, we began supporting the development of Trips for Kids chapters around the United States and around the world. If you want to start a Trips for Kids chapter in your own community, we're happy to help.
We toss out pebbles and the ripples spread. Guess people love what we do as much as we love doing it.
– TFK Founding Director Marilyn Price