Eight local children were able to ride toward a better Christmas after they received brand new bicycles, helmets, and locks from the Bikes for Kids program on December 18, 2014.
The Bikes for Kids Holiday Edition took place at Cherry Street Mission Ministry’s Life Revitalization Center and the bikes were given to kids of Cherry Street’s Hope House, which provides transitional housing for families moving from homelessness into permanent residences.
Dan Rodgers, President and CEO of Cherry Street Mission Ministries, was overwhelmed by the generous gift and was thrilled to learn the news that four families would be able to benefit from the program.
Berna Aguilar, Cherry Street's Family Advocate, with eight bikes
“Two years ago when we decided as a ministry that we were going to expand services to families for the first time in nearly 70 years, this is the kind of day that you hope you get to,” Dan said. “Where you can be in a position where the community would care for the kids that are now staying under our roof at Cherry Street, so for us it completes the circle relative to what we hoped would happen.”
To date, Bikes for Kids has given away 40 bicycles to kids who have made a difference in the lives of another person. Typically held in the summertime, the program was designed inspire children to be kind to their friends, family, classmates, and the community.
“We wanted to do something special around the holidays to recognize kids whose strength helps them endure tough times of transition,” said Attorney Chuck Boyk, founder of Bikes for Kids. “It takes a lot of patience and faith for children to get through the holidays when they don’t have a permanent place to live and hopefully the bicycles will give them the freedom of enjoying a childhood pastime, no matter where they call home.”
The bikes are purchased from Wersell’s Bike Shop on Central Avenue in Toledo, and owner Jill Wersell donated a helmet and lock to go along with each bike.
Nominations are already being accepted for the Summer 2015 program and adults can visit www.BikesforKidsToledo.com to tell the story of a child who they believe is deserving of a bike after making a difference.