Foundation helps kids get bikes and helmets

The Foundation for Life, Inc., a charitable organization supported by the employees of Barnum Financial Group, an office of MetLife, recently donated bicycles and helmets to 60 children during the Boys & Girls Club Annual Back-A-Kid Campaign Event.  First Niagara Bank provided each child with a voucher to the Sports Complex in Shelton.

Paul Blanco, managing director of Shelton-based Barnum Financial Group and Founder of the Foundation for Life, Inc., was first introduced to Bikes for Kids four years ago by the founders of the Bikes for Kids program, Bill and Debbie Pollakov. Since 2007, the Foundation for Life, Inc. with the support of the Barnum Financial Group employees has donated over 1,500 bikes and helmets to underprivileged children throughout Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island.

Families included

The children are typically invited to a free day of family fun where they are then given the additional surprise of a bike to take home. This year alone they have gone to the Rockland Boulders Baseball Game; a Jets Football Game, an afternoon in the Giants Field House as well as a baseball game with the Rhode Island Pawtucket Red Soxs. Many of these children may not have ever attended a baseball game or owned a bike; which is what makes this program so special.

"At Barnum Financial Group, we are committed to making a difference in the communities we serve,” said Blanco. “My wife Mindee and I started the Foundation for Life as an avenue through which we and our employees could improve the lives of children and families.”

About Barnum Financial

Barnum Financial Group, an Office of MetLife, provides a full range of investment and risk management products and services to over 220,000 clients including individuals and their families as well as small businesses, corporations, government entities, not-for-profit organizations and their employees. Offices are located in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island. For more information visit