GREENVILLE – More than 80 Darke County children will wake up to find brand new bikes under the tree this Christmas, thanks to donations made to the Mark Reedy Bike Drive.
Reedy, a Thrivent Financial representative based in Piqua, has conducted a bike drive for the past six years, alternating between Darke, Miami and Shelby counties. This year was the second time the drive was held in Darke County.
This year’s collection was held Thursday at the Miami Valley Community Action Partnership on Sweitzer.
According to Carol Littman, CAP associate director, the bikes were purchased from and assembled by Walmart in Greenville.
On Wednesday, several volunteers assisted with picking up the bikes and delivering them to CAP. These volunteers included Kevin McKibben, Elden Erdmann, Dean Thompson, and Mark Brumbaugh.
Santa (aka Raymond Perkins, CAP maintenance worker) arrived on Thursday to help families load the bikes into their cars.
“I love doing this,” Santa said. “I’ll plan on doing this for the rest of my life. This is it.”
During the past six years, Reedy’s bike drive has provided 1,230 new bicycles for area children.
“We just love children and want children to have a happy Christmas,” Reedy said, pointing out that a child with a bike has more opportunities to develop social skills as well as a healthy lifestyle. “Riding a bike is good for mental and physical health.”