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“Bicycle Man” overcomes challenges for another bike giveaway

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There are a lot of news stories this holiday season about different organizations giving away bicycles to children in need, and I tip my hat to all of them.

But year in and year out, the effort that catches my attention is the work done by Moses Mathis, the so-called “Bicycle Man” of Fayetteville, North Carolina.

The 72-year-old man has been giving away bicycles every Christmas for the past 20 years to children in the poor communities of North Carolina's sand hills. He told News14Carolina:

“I'll see the kids and the parents, and the hugs and the kisses and the thank you's. … That's what it's all about.”

Biggest challenge

This week, Mathis handed out 1,100 bicycles to children who qualified through social workers at area schools. This is almost equal to last year's 1,200 bicycles, the most ever.

Year in and year out, however, it seems that one of his biggest challenges is finding a location where he can store the bicycles and repair them with the help of his volunteers.

Mathis has had to work out of three warehouses in the past four years. He generally works in donated space that is subsequently sold off or torn down. He couldn't get started on this year's bike collections and repairs until mid-summer, according to News14Carolina.com, when a donor agreed to lend him warehouse space this year.

WRAL.com reports that the warehouse owner is working with local ministers to find a way to keep Mathis at the location so he doesn't have to spend his time looking for warehouse space every year.

Donate

See more information about Mathis at the Tiffany Pines Community Outreach Center.

Also, if you need to make space in your apartment, garage or basement for a new bicycle this year, check out the “Where to donate your old bicycle” webpage.

 


Permanent link to this article: http://www.bikingbis.com/2010/12/23/bicycle-man-overcomes-challenges-for-another-bike-giveaway/

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