Operation Firefly Hits 1,500 Lights
Operation Firefly has some pretty lofty goals for the 2015-2016 season: Hand out 2,500 light sets to people cycling. That’s 500 more than the previous season, but with five weeks left, we are less than one thousand away from hitting our goal!
So far, we’ve covered a large portion of the county visiting many neighborhoods, such as Pacoima, Wilmington, North Hollywood, Encino, Watts, Canoga Park, East Hollywood and Vernon. We’ve also held five distributions throughout Long Beach with another five coming.
We’ll also be looking to many more locations, including Maywood, Bell, MacArthur Park, Boyle Heights, Cudahy, and a number of others coming up.
Our chapters have also gotten involved, with the Bicycle Coalition at UCLA, Pomona Valley Bicycle Coalition, USC Bicycle Coalition, Walk Bike Burbank, Santa Clarita Valley Bicycle Coalition, and West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition holding their own distributions.
With all the different locations we’ve set up at, the one universal truth is how happy everyone is to receive free lights. Many of the people are startled when they first come across us, but given the means to ride home more visibly always puts a smile on their faces.
Operation Firefly is a hit with families too!
We’ve caught a number of people heading home from work, coming back from an evening ride or just to the store picking up some groceries. One person was even on their way to buy bike lights but didn’t know where to find them until she ran into us.
At every event, we get drivers who see our Operation Firefly signs and roll down their windows asking how they can get lights. Next thing we know, they’re back in minutes with their bikes, sometimes bringing their whole family with them!
Operation Firefly wouldn’t be as successful and fun without our dedicated group of volunteers. We’ve had over one hundred people generously donate their time as part of Team Firefly and have had incredible teamwork at every single event.
It can get quite busy at some of our distributions.
If you’ve been to any of this year’s Firefly events, you’ve probably met Armando. He lives in South L.A. without a car, but has been to almost every distribution this year, including ones in Canoga Park, Encino, North Hollywood, Pacoima, Vernon, Wilmington, Watts, Inglewood, San Pedro, and Long Beach. He comes to every Firefly ready to help and fills whatever role is needed on any given night.
Laura of Long Beach is another volunteer who has made a special contribution by making all but one of our eight Long Beach distributions. Not only does she bring a super attitude, but she provides drinks and snacks for all the volunteers.
Some of our super volunteers: (from L to R) Laura, David, George, LACBC Volunteer Coordinator Zachary Rynew, & Armando.
Lastly, Operation Firefly would not be possible without the support of our great sponsors. Once again, we were fortunate enough having the Laemmle Charitable Foundation as season sponsors again. The New Belgium Brewing and SoCal Gas Company also are serving as Operation Firefly sponsors.
LA City Council Members Joe Buscaino and Jose Huizar have served as month sponsors, while Paul Koretz, Bob Blumenfield, Felipe Fuentes, Mitch O’Farrell and Gil Cedillo sponsored individual events. The Vernon CommUNITY Fund and the cities of Long Beach, West Hollywood and Inglewood also have served as sponsors as well. Lastly, we’d like to thank Pure Fix Cycles and Santa Clarita Velo for sponsoring Walk Bike Burbank’s and SCVBC’s distributions respectively.
If you still want to be part of Team Firefly, there is still time to join our crew in February and early March. Sign up here to get more information.