PIQUA — Even though Christmas is still nearly three months away, Mark Reedy of Thrivent Financial in Piqua has his eye on what Christmas morning will look like for hundreds of kids in the local community.
Reedy announced the beginning of the 2017 Mark’s Bike Drive with the goal of raising funds to help provide bicycles to children of families in need in northern Miami County for Christmas. According to their website, their goal is raise a total amount of $21,600, which would buy approximately 240 bikes for kids in the Piqua, Fletcher, Covington, and Bradford areas.
“The first question always is, ‘How many are you going to give away this year?’” Reedy said. “The answer is, hopefully whatever the Salvation Army needs.”
This is the fourth year that Mark’s Bike Drive has been held. For their first year, the bike drive gave away 200 bikes in the Piqua area, Reedy said. For their second year in the Sidney and Shelby County area, they gave away approximately 240 bikes. The third year, they gave away approximately 140 bikes in Darke County.
Reedy partnered with Toys for Tots and the Salvation Army to reach as many families as needed, providing those organizations with a way to give out gifts they may not have been previously able to afford.
“With my budget constraints, bikes are out of the limit of what I can purchase,” Bob Bloom of Toys for Tots said.
Major Jody Kramer of the Salvation Army estimated the need might have increased in regard to families who need help giving their kids Christmas presents. Kramer said that for their summer feeding program last year, they gave out approximately 160 meals to kids per day. This year, the average number of meals they gave away to kids in their summer feeding program was between 200-230.
“The motivation comes when we help the Salvation Army distribute (the bikes),” Reedy said. “We’re helping bring joy families.”
The cost is about $90 per bicycle, but any donation of any amount is appreciated. The deadline for the bike drive is Nov. 22.
Those looking to donate can either pay online at www.MarksBikeDrive.org or by check, payable to “Mark’s Bike Drive,” which can be mailed to 429 N. Main St., Piqua, OH 45356.
Mark’s Bike Drive is a 501(c)(3) organization, and donations are tax deductible. For more information or to get involved, call (937) 778-1353.
Reach Sam Wildow at firstname.lastname@example.org or (937) 451-3336