Tea Family Giving Bikes To Foster Families Through Triathlon Wins
TEA, S.D. – In a triathlon athletes are tasked with swimming, bicycling and running a variety of distances back to back. It can be grueling for adults, let alone kids. But one Tea family took on 7 youth triathlons this summer.
While the sport is individual based, the siblings weren’t competing for themselves. They were competing for others in need.
Like most kids,”I like biking and they like biking,” says 10-year-old Ethan DeGeest.
Ethan, his 8-year-old brother Emmett and 5-year-old sister Evelyn like to spend their spare time on two wheels.
“It’s not motorized and you can go pretty fast,” says Emmett.
But unlike most kids, the three siblings have put their biking skills to the test placing in triathlons in South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska. Aside from the medals, the DeGeest family is taking away something bigger from all the wins.
“We race for foster kids to give people bikes because they don’t have some,” explains Evelyn.
Every time one of the three landed on the podium, they earned a bike to give to foster kids in the Sioux Empire. And that happened often — as the family is now putting together 21 new bikes.
The cause of these donations hits close to home. Alicia and her husband, Derek, adopted now three-year-old daughter Ellery.
“Our kiddos just embrace her and love on her, and our neighbors and anybody that’s in touch with her sees the joy in her eyes,” says Alicia.
The Degeests want to spread this joy. East River Foster Parent Network is helping, finding foster families who could use these bikes. The nonprofit geared toward empowering foster families says there are 440 foster kids in Sioux Falls who are currently being cared for.
“People are going overseas and there are so many kids right here that need to be adopted,” says Marla Rasmussen, the President of East River Foster Parent Network.
Through the gifts, the DeGeests are hoping to shine some light on this need.
“After [adoption] happens, you can’t imagine life without it, and that’s what Ellery’s been for us and the families that we’ve met,” says Derek.
The families were able to donate all the bikes with the help from a second nonprofit called Together We Rise, which works to improve the lives of foster children. As well as a global endurance ministry team called FCA Endurance.
If any foster family in the Sioux Empire needs support, they can also contact Celebrate Adoption.