MotoSport Express Truckee delivers birthday presents to kids sheltered in place
Special to the Sierra Sun
In mid-April, MotoSport Express Truckee Owner Craig Fierro started seeing people sheltered-in-place get creative about how to celebrate birthdays — especially for the kids who couldn’t have a get-together with their friends — and thought about how he could help.
“I have a buddy that has a 4-wheel drive car and went offroading with his friends (in their separate vehicles) to celebrate his birthday and people with signs on the street asking others to honk as they drive by and I thought that was cool,” Fierro says.
Along with selling full-size dirt bikes in his motorcycle shop, Fierro also carries toy replicas that are one-twelfth the size of a normal rideable bike, making kids and adults alike absolutely love them.
“One of our parts’ distributors has this line of toys that are dirt bikes on a small scale. I got this idea to hand them out to kids sheltered in place that had birthdays coming up,” explains Fierro. He posted something to the Facebook Truckee/Tahoe People page along the lines of, “if you know a kid who has a birthday coming up then message me your info and I’ll give you a bike” and the messages started pouring in.
“I asked parents to message me their kids’ information and when their birthday was coming up,” he said, “and then my daughters and I would wrap toys and try to deliver them in our old Bug on their birthday.”
‘A COOL GESTURE’
He’s only been doing deliveries in Truckee, but always welcomes the parents to pick up their toys in person at the shop.
The Fierro family launched their grassroots birthday toy giveaway on April 13 and has delivered around 20 gifts or so since then.
“We deliver toys after work … we’ve stayed open this whole time (MotoSport Express Truckee) and then I get in my Bug and go cruise around with my daughters and drop off the gifts. People feel differently about the pandemic, some people would stay at a distance and we’d leave them on the front porch,” he said.
Fierro originally handed out what he had in stock and reordered 16 more toys from Western Power Sports Inc. But when the distribution center caught wind of what he was doing then they sent him double the order.
“It was a cool gesture, I was impressed that they handled it the way they did,” he says. When Fierro first started the giveaway, he thought he would do it through the end of May, but he still has toys in stock that he wants to give away. “So, I might do it through the end of June or whenever the lockdown is lifted,” he said.
His favorite part of doing it is to see the smiles on kids’ faces and how excited they get when they receive the unexpected gift.
“I love seeing their reaction. Some are like, ‘This is awesome!’ and others are like ‘Who’s this weirdo?’ But then their parents explain to them who I am, and they tear into the toy and are so happy. One little girl (Chloe Johnson) got an orange bike — a KTM 350 that is the exact same one her dad has. She was so excited and realized it immediately. These toy dirt bikes by New Ray have full detail like what you’d get off the factory floor,” Fierro said.
‘MAKING KIDS SMILE’
When Fierro posted information about the toy giveaway on Facebook, he received about 70 or so inquiries. He did note that the toy is ideal for kids ages 5-12, but one mom reached out and asked if her daughter who was turning 21 could receive a toy. “I said that yes, she may like a dirt bike, but I also have koozies,” Fierro laughs.
Along with making a local kid’s birthday extra special, Fierro enjoys having his daughters involved and instilling the idea of giving and not expecting anything in return.
“I like giving away surprises that are unexpected. Occasionally, we’ll do a Christmas thing and will figure out what kids like and go out and buy presents for families who are struggling.
“But this was just about forgetting about the pandemic for a bit and making kids smile,” Fierro says.
“Korra struggled hard with missing her crew and you made her feel special,” Sarah Grimaldi, Truckee resident and local business owner, tells Fierro. “Everyone was so worried about the small business owners, you took care of the kids,” she adds.
MotoSport Express Truckee is located at 10825 Pioneer Trail #106 in Truckee, or you can visit their website at http://motosportexpresstruckee.com/.
Kayla Anderson is a reporter for the Tahoe Daily Tribune, a sister publication of the Sierra Sun based in South Lake Tahoe.
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In 2019, Tahoe Nordic Search & Rescue received a grant of $395,500 from the Truckee Tahoe Airport District to replace an old snowcat and hauler.