Project gives bicycles to kids

Stafff report

MIAMI COUNTY — Providing bicycles for children in need at Christmas time is a passion for Mark Reedy.

This holiday season will be no different.

Reedy, who started Mark’s Bike Drive, announced Thursday, the bike drive will continue in 2020 for the seventh year.

Cash donations have helped the program deliver more than 1,300 bicycles to children in the last six years, he said.

In years past, Reedy worked with the Piqua Salvation Army Christmas program, the Sidney-Shelby County Salvation Army Christmas program and the Community Action Partnership in Darke County to assist in administering the project.

“Every child should have a bicycle so they can get physical and emotional exercise and have fun with friends,” Reedy said Thursday at the project’s kickoff.

This year, Reedy will work with the Piqua Salvation Army and their affiliation with the Marines’ Toys for Tots program. The bikes will be distributed to the children in northern Miami County this Christmas, with the Piqua Salvation Army Christmas program in December.

“We are extremely blessed to work with the Piqua Salvation Army and the Marines’ Toys for Tots programs,” Reedy said.

Reedy said his staff at Thrivent Financial and the organizations involved will assemble the team of volunteers needed to make the program a success again this year.

Reedy is asking residents of Northern Miami County to participate as they are able to, to help less fortunate families have bicycles. A suggested donation is $90, which is the amount needed for an average bicycle, but any donation is appreciated, Reedy said. Fundraising efforts will continue through Nov. 20.

“We are already excited by the energy of those involved in the project,” Reedy said. “This looks like it’s going to be a very popular project to get involved in for the great people of northern Miami County.”

The program is being assisted by the city of Piqua, villages of Covington, Bradford and Fletcher, and those contributing financially through corporate and anonymous donations, WPTW, the Miami Valley Today and Thrivent Financial. For more information or to donate, visit www.marksbikedrive.org