Sioux Falls, SD
After troubled holidays in abusive homes or foster care, dozens of kids at Children's Home Society will not be neglected this Christmas after Novak Sanitary Service donated bikes to the residential treatment facility.
One by one, bikes are unloaded from the Novak Sanitary Service truck.
There are 45 bikes total, for kids of all sizes at Children's Home Society. The two-wheeled deliveries are a holiday priority for Novak employees who donated more than $4,500 for the bikes.
"I still remember the first Christmas I received my bike and what a feeling, an excitement it is to walk out and see a bike. All kids should have that," Novak District Manager Jeff Westrick said.
The bikes will be put to good use. Some of the kids there have logged more than 800 miles in a year riding around the property and Sioux Falls bike paths. But the fun isn't just for the kids.
"When I found out we were going to do it, I was like, 'Oh my gosh, I can't wait. It would be so much fun,'" Novak employee Katie Kreever said. "A lot of people showed up and we had a great time building them."
Most of the bikes will stay at the Children's Home Society, but a few dozen will go home with kids in foster care.
The company also delivered armfuls of toys. Children's Home Society Community Relations Director Debra Moritz said donations like these give the kids a Christmas many have never experienced before.
"Most of the kids who come here have extreme emotional and behavioral problems that are often a result of extreme abuse and neglect," Moritz said.
"It's wonderful. When you go through and see the kids, it's just wonderful," Westrick said.