When my daughters received "big girl bikes" for Christmas, we knew we needed to buy helmets sooner, rather than later. Winter made it easy to put that task on the back burner, but now that spring is slowly arriving, we knew we needed to figure out the helmet situation.
After looking in stores and online, I realized we were going to fork over $80 to $100. I called our pediatrician to see if she knew of any local programs offering discounted bike helmets. She didn't, but made some phone calls and told me to try our local children's hospital. I looked on the hospital's web site and couldn't come up with anything. I posed the question to my moms of multiples group and one of the members told me to try contacting my local fire department.
When I consulted the phone book, the only number I could find for the fire department was 911. No wonder 911 receives so many wacky calls. Shouldn't a non-emergency number be easy to find? Since shelling out money four-times over for bike helmets is only an emergency in my mind, I opted to call the city's "Neighborhood Services" department. I can't tell you how many times I was transferred, disconnected, etc. I was about to give up, when one woman said she would transfer me to an officer's voice mail. I left him a message and he called back in less than an hour. He informed me the police department gives out bike helmets to kids each summer at various outreach events (community picnics, etc)... but, given my "situation" (I happened to mention I have quadruplets in the voice mail) he invited me to stop by to receive helmets. Four FREE bike helmets. (They're free at the outreach events, too).
We went to the police department yesterday. The officer was extremely nice and was disappointed that his pink Hello Kitty helmets were too small for the girls. (For the record, they are quite content with their blue helmets). He helped adjust the helmets and even gave me his business card in case we lose a helmet or break one. Let's just say he and his boss will be receiving a gushing letter of thanks. Not only did the police department save us up to $100 but they likely saved us a trip or two to the emergency room!