TOLEDO, Ohio (13abc Action News) - Riding bikes outside for hours is a big part of summer for a lot of kids. But many children don't have a bike, so a local program is helping make that happen for some deserving children. The Bikes for Kids program was started by the Charles Boyk Law Offices.
A local boy got his free bike at Wersell's Bike and Ski Shop Tuesday afternoon.
Juan Rodriguez thought he was coming to Wersell's to help his brother. Little did he know, he would leave with a brand new bike and helmet.
His aunt Dora Lutts nominated him for the bike, "He thought we were here to pick up a tire for his brother's bike. We kept his win a secret, which was hard to do! I started crying when I found out he was chosen. It's amazing they picked him, just amazing."
Dora nominated her 11-year-old nephew because of his very adult behavior in a tough situation, "It's nice to know there are people out there who care and acknowledge the kids for the good they do. This kind of recognition is a great reward for their good deeds.It keeps the kids going."
Juan used money he was awarded after a car accident to help pay for his great-grandmother's funeral. Anneke Godlewski is the Director of Marketing for Charles Boyk Law Offices.
She says this is a great example of what this program is all about, "Juan didn't think twice. To know that this young man had some money and wanted to help others with it is incredible. His family is very important to him and he wanted to solve a problem for his family. We wanted to applaud that."
Juan didn't waste any time taking his new red bike for a ride. And red just happens to be his favorite color, "What did you think when you saw the bike and heard it was yours? I was happy and I was shocked! I love it! I was amazed."
Juan already has a plan for his new bike, "I am going to ride through the neighborhoods with my friends."
Godlewski says the Bikes for Kids program began as an effort to educate people about bike safety, but it has grown into so much more, "The nominations are a surprise. These kids aren't asking for bikes. It's the adults in their lives speaking up about how awesome they are and that means a lot to the kids too, to know someone has noticed what they are doing.."
The program was started by Charles Boyk Law Offices in 2009. Since then more than 80 bikes have been given away. Wersell's Bike and Ski Shop donates a helmet and a bike lock to each winner.
The winners don't have to have done something extraordinary, small acts of kindness are important as well. In the summer months, a bike is given away every week.
If you would like to nominate a child to win one of the bikes, we've posted a link.