Bikes For Kids was conceived in 2019 to provide bikes for underprivileged children in Northern Indiana. The organization was founded by Damian Sage (with a little help from his grandparents). Damian (pictured above), received a new bicycle for his birthday in November of 2019. He was 6 years old when he was asked what he wanted to do with his old bike that he no longer needed. His response was, "Can I give it to another child that cannot afford one?" After considerable research and effort, we're making Damian's wish a reality on a larger scale.
Between November '19 and May '20 we started collecting bikes in cooperation with Chip Dean of The Integrity Academy of Marshall Arts in Plymouth, Indiana. We received help from our great bike mechanics, Dan Atkinson, Richard Patterson and Joe Barnes, to get the bikes ready. Norma Atkinson, a Certified Bike Instructor, also helped match the bikes to the kids on the day of the giveaway event. Numerous other volunteers made the event a success as well. During our first giveaway on Memorial Day weekend 2020, at River Park Square in Plymouth, we delivered approximately 100 bicycles to local kids and served lunch to over 275 people.
We held our 2nd annual giveaway in 2021, at Centennial Park in Plymouth, Indiana at the Freymen Shelter and gave away 250 bikes. Blissville Church served lunch to over 650 people. Many local merchants donated coupons for their products and we had two TV stations and three radio stations cover the event.
During our 3rd annual giveaway on April 16th, 2022, we gave away 352 bikes. We used both the Freymen and Hoosier Old Wheels Shelters for this event. Blissville Church provided 800 lunches to local residents. Continental Express provide two semi trailers for bike transport and the Integrity Acadamy of Martial Arts provided the bike unloading crew and the food runners. Other individual and corporate donors helped us greatly. We had one TV station and two radio stations cover the event. Unfortunately, we ran out of bikes well before we ran out of kids that needed them and had to turn away over 30 carloads of deserving kids.
During our 4th annual on April 8th, 2023 giveaway and previously, during The Hope for the Holidays Christmas event in Knox, we gave away a total of 560+ bikes. We used the Plymouth High School gym for our main giveaway event during Easter weekend. We invited children from Plymouth, Walkerton, Oregon-Davis, Argos, Culver, Bremen and Triton Schools to participate this year. Blissville Church provided 945 lunches to all the participants. Continental Express provided the semi trailers and the Honor Societies of Plymouth and Laville High School and Integrity Academy of Martial Arts provided their students for loading and unloading. We had multiple donations from corporate and individual sponsors and three television stations and two radio stations covered the event. We ran out of bikes again and 28 familes didn't receive bikes for their kids.
Our goal is to acquire and/or refurbish over 750+ bikes for our 5th annual giveaway on Easter Weekend, 2024. On average, each new bike and helmet costs us $88.00. We also rebuild gentley used bikes that are donated to us and our average rebuild cost is $10 per bike. To reach our goal, we will need to raise $41,000,00+ from our civic, corporate and individual sponsors for our 2024 events.
Bikes For Kids, Inc. 19329 6B Road, Plymouth, Indiana 46563