Well it hit me today, I have been a bit remiss. Last month, in the post His Heart Grew 3 Sizes that day I told you the story of Michelle finding a tag on our offices giving tree from a 17-year-old boy. All he asked for was a bike…
Michelle launched our personal fundraising plan that day by hitting up people we knew at work. I in turn hit Facebook as well as all the riders I knew here. The first day we had $300 in pledges.
I am remiss because I never told yall what happened!
The day the blog post, my friend Sarah, from Honoringmycompass.com (one of the BEST blogs of any type out there), suggested that I hit up some local bike shops with news of our endeavors. There might be a good chance they might be able to help!
Ever have one of those facepalm moments? I had not thought of that. I jumped on the Mountainstroh Twitter account (Who knew I knew how to tweet!!) and hit up a few local bike shops. Within an hour, Steve from Recycled Cycles answered back that he would be happy to help. A few shared emails later, and he told me he would shout as soon as a prospective bike came into the shop.
He and I agreed a mountain bike would be the best bet. Nothing fancy, but something that would stand up to the beating of 17-year-old kid. He promised to contact me during the beginning of the next week!
Meanwhile the fundraising took off! By the beginning of the next week we had pledges from almost 20 people for more than I ever thought we would! Which is good, because as I pondered this plan I realized the bike was not enough….
This is a family with not a lot, if any, money to spare. The bike was a good start, but he would need a helmet, a pump, spare tubes, kick stand, lights, and a good lock! It would be terrible to be given a gift of a bike, just to get a flat day one and never be able to ride again…
Well Monday rolled around, and Steve reached out. He had an older, but in excellent shape, Specialized Rockhopper. PERFECT! The cost was $400, but he gave it to us for 300! PERFECTER! The fact that I knew it had been given the complete once over and it was in excellent shape meant I saved on having to get a used bike tuned up.
OK, now we were off and running for the rest of the equipment. With some frugal shopping and some donations (such as the lock and a multitool) we had money to spare. I wanted to show this kid what kind of adventures could happen with a two-wheel steed, so hit up my favorite bike author Joe Kurmaskie so I could include one of his books. He threw in an extra when he heard why I wanted one!
Even with the book and equipment, we hadn’t spent all we took in! Michelle went and grabbed his other tag (for clothes) off the tree. We were able to get shoes, pants and shirts for the kid! All wishes fulfilled!
One thing we hadn’t thought of was getting the bike to the church… I was shocked to find not everyone has a bike rack!!
Michelle let me know they needed help, so 3 Saturdays ago, we were up at the crack of dawn and at work, loading presents in the back of our SUV.
The bike was the last to be loaded.
We then drove about 2 miles to a nearby church.
I know I am NOT the most observant cowboy. Michelle has learned that sometimes it is just easiest to point and tell me what to do. This was one of those occasions. I was fresh back from Tennessee, jet lagged, and bit rummy. In fact, getting me to understand what time and where we were supposed to be was a challenge for her. Therefore, I was very surprised to find a TON of people from the mighty P already at the church.
Once a month, a team is put together to cook a big breakfast for the local homeless and the members of the church in need. This weekend the breakfast and gift day coincided! (I dimly remember being told all this… ) Well there were high-fives and handshakes all around! Meanwhile, there were two vehicles full of presents that needed to be unloaded.
Silly me, I thought it was drop and run…
Michelle was drafted to make sure all the presents were accounted for and checked off! She looked like a cute Santa with a clip board!
I kept busy unloading food, and moving stuff as needed. It was a good morning and even my cold and callous heart felt happy!
One of the reasons I hadn’t done a follow up, is that we learned the family who was getting the bike could not attend festivities that weekend. As we all know things come up. The church made sure to lock away everything and keep it safe for them.
Today, we came to work and there was a picture of him with his bike! I would love to share it, but he is 1) only 17 and 2) I don’t have permission. In the photo he looks like he was told to pose, “Let’s take a picture for the nice people who bought the bike!” but I swear I see a sparkle in his eyes! The lady in charge said he was VERY excited, even if he was trying to look tough in the photo.
I can only hope he finds the pleasure I do. A bike can equal freedom, and can take you places you never imagined possible. I will probably never know what happens with this kid, but in my head it nothing but good.
Thank you to everyone who donated to help make this happen!
Michelle, this was all because you have a huge heart, you love Christmas, and you want everyone to believe in Santa! Good job babe!