Three local non-profits team up to gift bikes to kids in need

Published: Dec. 8, 2022 at 6:47 PM EST
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STARKE COUNTY, Ind. (WNDU) - Bikes for Kids is a non-profit organization that provides refurbished and new bikes to underprivileged kids in Northern Indiana.

Each year they do a spring bike giveaway, but this year, they wanted to give out even more bikes.

“So, we decided to look for other opportunities and one of the ideas that came out was to look to see if somebody could use them for Christmas giveaways,” said Dave Abair, a Board Member and Mechanic for Bikes for Kids.

Which was how they got into contact with Hope for the Holidays, a non-profit organization that helps children’s holiday wishes come true.

Hope for the Holidays thought they would need about ten bikes but ended up needing way more.

“They haven’t had any bikes in I don’t know, several years, and she thought, well if we can get ten, that would be great. So, Dave said, Oh I think we can do that, and he came back and said tell you what, we’ve got 16 bikes for you. Fantastic, this is awesome. Next thing I know, I get a phone call. We’re giving away over 80 bikes to Starke County,” said Cindy Benke, a Hope for the Holidays representative.

The request for Bikes for Kids to refurbish and provide ten bikes quickly doubled and then quadrupled.

“Originally, we didn’t know exactly what the board was going to think when we were talking only 16-20 bikes and then to have that kind of a need. Fortunately, we had bikes upstairs,” Abair said.

When Starke County Region 2 ABATE found out, they were happy to help transport the bikes from one organization to the other, as well as make a substantial donation.

“Seeing kids’ faces, especially those that don’t have a bike or have never had a bike. To see them pull up and to give them a bicycle to start out with, it’s beyond words to say the least,” said Terry Young, a representative for Starke County Region 2 ABATE.

And all three organizations noted the importance of giving the gift of a bike to a kid in need.

“And you know, I grew up in a rural area and I remember when I was riding my bike down the dirt roads and stuff and the imagination and you know whatever, it’s just going to open up a whole new world for a lot of kids,” Benke said.

Starke County has challenged residents to get involved and help gift even more kids with bikes.

For more information on Bikes for Kids, click here.