The city's first Friendship House is settling in to its purpose of making friends by searching out and filling a need they see in the neighborhood; right now that need comes in the form of bicycles.

“The only way to have a friend is to be one,” Ralph Waldo Emerson once said.

The famous quote may strike a chord with society because it's kind, but its value holds true because the principle works.

Open since August in Kickapoo Park, at the corner of Seventh and Pottenger, the city's first Friendship House is settling in to its purpose of making friends. One way they have chosen to do that is by searching out and filling a need they see in the neighborhood; right now that need comes in the form of bicycles.

Community Renewal just bought 10 bikes for Friendship House neighborhood kids through Spokelahoma bike shop owner Craig MacIntyre.

“He worked really hard to negotiate a great price with Raleigh bikes,” Dyer said. “The bikes will be available to kiddos in the neighborhood and the Friendship House will be the place they are stored.”

Most of these children don’t have bikes, so this is pretty cool, Dyer said.

MacIntyre said when Dyer approached him about obtaining bikes for the neighborhood, he reached out to his suppliers for a deal.

“My suppliers are super,” he said.

MacIntyre said he was able to secure a good price below cost and passed that savings on to the Community Renewal team.

MacIntyre said his business wasn't interested in making money off the deal.

“Not only that, my suppliers also worked out getting lights, locks and helmets,” he said.

The bike shop owner also said he is offering routine maintenance on the bikes as long as the nonprofit has them.

MacIntyre said the two-wheelers arrived and were delivered last week, while the accessories came this week.

Dyer said Travis Flood, Friendship House director, will be in charge of loaning them out. Flood and his family have made the site — and neighborhood — their home.

MacIntyre said various sizes were ordered for the pack of pedal-powered vehicles.

“We even have a couple of bikes with baskets, for adults, in case they need to go to the grocery store,” Dyer said.

MacIntyre said with proper maintenance — depending on storage, use and care — the bikes can last a good five to 10 years.

Friendship House

After the membership drive for We Care. team members and Block Leaders were established, the organization's set its sights on its next phase — planting team members into neighborhoods so by becoming fully invested in the area they can be a constant and easily accessible resource to their neighbors.

Community Renewal staff member Flood and his family now call the Kickapoo Park Friendship House site home.

Friendship House helps neighbors rebuild the caring infrastructure of that neighborhood and fosters beneficial relationships by working with local children, youth, and adults to help meet their needs while bringing valuable social services to the neighborhood. The Friendship House’s community room will provide after-school activities and a safe place for kids in the neighborhood, GED (Hi-SET) programs, adult literacy classes, and other services that meet the needs of the neighborhood.

Community Renewal Pottawatomie County’s office is at 1000 N. Kickapoo.

To learn more, join in or make a donation, visit Community Renewal Shawnee, OK on Facebook, visit http://communityrenewal.org or call (405) 273-1035.