Bicycles For All continues tradition of giving during pandemic

DAYTON — The gift of a bike will be a highlight of Christmas for many boys and girls across the Miami Valley.

Local charities are teaming up to provide bikes to kids in need this holiday season.

Bicycles For All has been shutdown most of the year. But they’ve had just enough bikes ready to go to be able to help about 8 local charities give to area children.

Thursday volunteers with Shoes for the Shoeless picked up 24 bikes from Bicycles For All to prepare to give to boys that are victims of domestic violence.

Shoes for the Shoeless typically throws a party for these kids but this year it’s a little different.

“They’re usually in very deep despair and they’re kids who have not seen a lot of joy or happiness, they’ve actually seen none,” Kris Horlacher, director of Shoes for Shoeless said. “So our parties are usually the highlight of their whole year.”

All of the kids made a wish list and different people sponsored each kids’ list. For the first time one of the boys asked for a bicycle.

“He’s never had a bike and he’s asked for a bike,” Horlacher said. “These are 24 little boys, you can’t just give a bike for one.”

That sparked Horlacher to reach out Matt Tepper, president of Bicycles For All.

All of the bikes being donated will come with a helmet, water bottle, bike pump, and hand written cards personalized for each kid.

“All of our volunteers know what it’s like to look at a kid with a glean in the eye of getting their own bike,” Tepper said. “This year we haven’t been able to do that. Even though we can’t see it, we know it’s out there, we all know what it looks like.”

The 24 bikes are part of the nearly 100 that the charity is distributing this holiday season to other local charities.

Tepper said the bicycles are mostly from donations from the Kettering Police Department and are from late 2019 and early 2020 that volunteers were able to repair and assemble before being shutdown.

“It means that they’re actually getting to kids in 2020,” Tepper said. “This is a wonderful event that we can help out on. They’re filling a need, they’re filling exactly what they’re meant to do.”

Friday the 24 bicycles picked up by Shoes For the Shoeless will be unloaded and arranged by size so each kid will able to pick out the perfect fit for them.

James Rider

James Rider

I was born in Virginia and have moved several times in my life as a member of an Air Force family. I've lived in Virginia, California, Germany, England, and Ohio. I graduated from Centerville High School and then went on to attend Ball State University where I graduated with a bachelor's degree.