Organization Provides Bikes to Help Those in Need
SIOUX FALLS, S.D.- As winter approaches, some people are putting their bikes aside and using their cars to get to work. However for others, walking may be their only option, but a Sioux Falls organization is trying to change that.
Five years ago, Jeffrey Carlon got some much-needed help from the Center of Hope. Two wheels, a seat, and handlebars that came during a time of struggle.
“I didn’t have any transportation at the time and no money for a bus pass,” says Jeffrey Carlon.
For 15 years, the Center of Hope’s Bike to Work program has gotten people from all walks of life back on their feet with bicycles.
“A lot of them have similar stories; in the sense that they can’t afford a car, they can’t afford any other form of transportation. So they have to use a bike,” says Center of Hope Bike to Work Shop Coordinator, Adam Hofer.
The center collects used bikes, repairs them, and sells them to people looking for a way to get to work. They offer the bikes at a reduced price usually charging 10 to 60 dollars. The big payoff has nothing to do with the money.
“For us to see someone who thrives is just wonderful,” says Center of Hope Executive Director, Brett Rockvam.
Adam Hofer repairs bikes for the program. He’s made lasting friendships with the people he helps.
“I enjoy forming relationships with them. I enjoy just teaching them how to fix up bikes,” says Hofer.
Carlon was so grateful to be on the receiving end, he wanted to give back. He now volunteers at the Center of Hope.
“It’s a feeling that you could feel for yourself. As in, it’s not only humbling but it’s a great feeling that you are able to pass on the help, that the center of hope has given us,” says Carlon.
It’s stories like these that keep the organization’s wheels turning.
“Our hope is that we can continue to serve the community and continue bringing healthy relationship to a lot of people that just feel lost,” says Rockvam.
The organization is also having a fall benefit Saturday to raise money to help the ministry continue its work. The event starts at 5:30 p.m. at Sioux Falls Christian, there will be food and auctions. Tickets for the event cost $10.