Organization Builds Bikes For Children in Need

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.- Having a bike of their own, is something every child looks forward to getting and riding it around with their friends, but not every child in the Sioux Empire is fortunate enough to have that. However, a Sioux Falls non-profit is hoping to change that this Christmas.

On Monday through Friday the inside of Airway Service is typically filled with cars, but on Saturday, the bikes took over the auto repair shop. Not everyone is a mechanic, but after 4 or so bike repairs things start to get flowing.

“I didn’t even know how to put air in my bike tires. I was completely lost,” says Volunteer, Sam Whempner.

They eventually even pick up a new skill to be able to fix their own bike.

“I can even just do it at home because we have all the tools to do it,” says Whempner.

However, these wheels will be turned over to children in need. The 176 bikes being built were provided by the non-profit organization chariots for children. The Sioux falls non-profit works with other various organizations to get the bikes to those in need. Organizers say the big payoff is seeing the volunteers give their time to help the community.

“They’re just not handing over money and saying do what you do with it. They have to come and be involved in it and that’s really what we wanted. That was the foundation of starting this,” says Chariots for Children committee member, Tim Ingalls.

For some volunteers, it’s more than just giving back. It’s the gratitude they feel knowing the impact the bikes will have.

“We had homemade training wheels and all that stuff. So it’s really nice to know that somewhere out there, a kid like me is getting a bike so that he can ride it and go with his friends,” says Whempner.

The dedication to get the bikes all ready in time for Christmas is what drives them to keep going.

“It just helps the parents out as well as the kids. So they don’t have to stress about getting them the newest whatever. They can just get it and have fun,” says Whempner.

“At Christmas, there is going to be a lot of happy kids,” says Chariots for Children committee member, Tom Broadbent.

The organization raises money all year round and 100 percent of that money is used to buy the bikes. Organizers say the bikes will go to local organizations and churches. If you would like to help with donations visit: https://chariots4children.com/

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