Bike Ministry solicits help

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 29, 2007

GATES – Come rain or shine, day or night, Jacklyn and Bill Phillips work to repair bicycles for children they have never met.

The only thing that stands in their way today is the lack of volunteerism and the most important aspect—bicycles.

For the past 10 years the Phillipses have revamped used and unwanted bicycles and sent them to needy children through their non-profit called the Bicycle Ministry.

“We collect bicycles that have been donated to us and bicycles that cannot be sold in stores,” said Jacklyn.

Inspired by the story of a man who worked two jobs to buy his children bicycles, only to have them stolen, the Phillipses decided to start an organization to provide toys and bikes to needy children.

From the back roads in Gates County to the foreign shores of underdeveloped countries like Cambodia and Nicaragua, the Phillipses have provided thousands of children and missionaries with transportation and a source of rehabilitation.

According to Jacklyn, 45 to 50 percent of Cambodian children have lost limbs to landmines and having a bike helps with therapy of using a prosthetic limb. Training wheels are affixed to the bikes to help the children balance.

Missionaries in Zambia have used the bikes to travel to help HIV afflicted children and possibly transport patients to the hospital.

Children in the Roanoke-Chowan area have also received bikes from the Phillipses.

With Christmas time fast approaching, Bill and Jacklyn are looking for bicycle donations to help the cause.

Jacklyn said all shapes and sizes of bicycles are needed.

“Even if we can not fix it we can use the parts,” she said.

Volunteers and monetary donations are also needed for Bicycle Ministry.

Jacklyn said Bill is willing to train anyone who wants to volunteer.

Those interested in volunteering or donating to Bicycle Ministry can contact Jacklyn and Bill at (252) 357-2295.

Monetary donations can be given to the Bicycle Ministry or any Wachovia Bank.