Home Local nonprofit distributes bike helmets to prevent traumatic brain injury

Local nonprofit distributes bike helmets to prevent traumatic brain injury

Crystal Graham
bike helmet donation

A local nonprofit organization distributed more than 90 bicycle helmets to help prevent traumatic brain injury as the result of an accident.

Brain Injury Connection of the Shenandoah Valley, through the financial help of a matching community grant from Walmart, partnered with seven local organizations, including the Valley Mission in Staunton, First Step, Mercy House and The Boys & Girls Club of Harrisonburg.

“Brain injury prevention is a cornerstone of what we do at Brain Injury Connections,” said Anne Fitzgerald, executive director of Brain Injury Connection. “By distributing bike helmets, we hope that we are able to help folks, especially children, prevent brain injuries. The statistics are varied, but in general it’s been discovered that wearing a bike helmet can prevent at minimum a 50 percent reduction in traumatic brain injury.”

Brain Injury Connection’s service region includes Shenandoah, Page, Rappahannock, Rockingham, Bath, Highland, Augusta, and Rockbridge counties, and their inclusive cities.

It is estimated that 7,682 individuals within that service region are living with a disability resulting from a traumatic brain injury.

Brain Injury Connections of the Shenandoah Valley provides case management services to individuals suffering from a brain injury. The organization’s primary function is to help individuals affected by brain injury return to their lives – to their homes, careers, school, and communities – to the greatest extent possible.

“Every year, we have a fundraising gala called Brews, Boots, and Bling,” Fitzgerald said. “At our last gala, we raised money for bike helmets. However, we knew that we could provide a lot more if we were able to partner with a local company. We reached out to Walmart for their local community grant and requested funding. When they agreed to match, that allowed us to double the amount of helmets we could hand out.”

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.