Tattoo artist raises money to donate 24 new bikes to New Brunswickers

Tattoo artist raises money to donate 24 new bikes to New Brunswickers

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Getting around Fredericton will be easier for some newcomers thanks to a donation from a local tattoo artist.
Joey Saindon of Sacred Owl Tattoo delivered 24 new bikes to the Multicultural Association of Fredericton on Saturday afternoon.

Saindon handed over the bikes to newcomers who have recently moved to the province. Many had no means of transportation.

Katherine Cerrato, 24, was jumping with excitement after receiving her new bike. She was overwhelmed by Saindon’s generosity.

“I want to cry because I never imagined the Canadians trying to help,” she said, fighting back tears.

People receiving a new bicycle were given helmets, locks and some safety lessons on riding a bicycle in the city. (Gary Moore / CBC)

Cerrato moved to Fredericton from Honduras at the start of the pandemic last year. She said she hadn’t been able to go out and explore her new home.

She is delighted to be able to go to new places on her bike.

“I always see people leaving and traveling,” she says. “I want to go to the forest. I want to go to the lake. “

Saindon raised just over $ 4000 a few weeks ago to buy the association’s bikes. He held a contest in his studio for a free tattoo.

“You really spend your childhood cycling, we did that when we were kids,” he said. “I thought it would be good to get the kids out of the house – it’s good for your mental health. “

Joey Saindon raised over $ 4,000 to purchase new bikes for newcomers to Fredericton. (Gary Moore / CBC)

Saindon is humble about the donation, but he was happy to have been able to meet the people who received the bikes.

“It made me happy to see who they were going to,” Saindon said.

He had a heart attack about a year ago. He said the tattoo community has come together to help him and his family through this stressful time.

“It just made me want to give more back to the community after seeing this,” he said. “So that also inspired me. “

Saindon also donated five bikes to the Women’s Halfway House as part of its fundraiser.

He had to go to several stores in town to get the bikes due to a global shortage caused by the pandemic.

Volunteers helped distribute the new bikes. (Gary Moore / CBC)

Before Saindon showed up on Saturday with a van and trailer full of bikes, the recipients were taking a bicycle safety course from the multicultural association.

Members also provided helmets and locks to each person receiving a bicycle.

Ahmad Faisal Hussain moved from Syria to Fredericton in February. Through a translator, he expressed his joy for the gift of Saindon.

“It’s a great feeling,” he said, adding that he had never ridden a bike before and was eager to learn.

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