SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - This Christmas, Chariots For Children in Sioux Falls is hoping you'll help them buy or build bikes for kids in need. The organization is in its fourth year. It's raised roughly $12,000 to hook youngsters up with their own rides.
"You can feel good by giving back to children who maybe don't have a bike," Becca Fritz said.
Fritz has three children of her own and knows how important bicycles can be to kids.
"Every kid needs a bike. It's part of growing up. Everybody remembers their first bike," Fritz said.
That's why she volunteers with Chariots For Children. The organization is rolling along in its fourth year and co-founder Tom Broadbent, owner of Airway Service, says the effort makes a difference.
"These kids are deserving in getting bikes. They're going to the right places," Broadbent said.
Broadbent and Chariot's committee raises money throughout the year, buys the bicycles and then hosts a big build event.
This year, Chariots for Children had enough funding to buy more than 140 bicycles. They could always use more donations.
"This year we were down to the wire in time to get them shipped here and get them and ready for the bike build that's happening Saturday, December 15," Broadbent said.
Broadbent says the need keeps growing. On top of giving bicycles to Big Brothers Big Sisters, it also donates several to the Sioux Falls Police Department so officers can give bikes to kids.
"We found a need at St. Francis House for adults that are having issues or families with kids. So we donate a fair amount of bikes to those folks too. Adults need them to get back and forth to work," Broadbent said.
While it's a lot of work, the project is rewarding for the families involved.
"It's really grown to be our passion," Broadbent said.
Chariots For Children's bike build takes place at 9 a.m. on December 15th. Anyone can help build and the organization is also asking volunteers to bring a food item that can be donated to Feeding South Dakota.
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