Bikes needed now!

Published 9:59 am Tuesday, December 9, 2008

GATES – Nothing touches a heart more than the look of wonderment in a child’s eyes on Christmas morning.

But stop and think for a moment of empty space surrounding a Christmas tree….no toys, no gifts, no nothing.

That thought is one Jacklyn Phillips cannot get out of her mind.

Phillips, whose Bicycle Ministry based in tiny Gates County is known throughout the world, has set her sights on another project.

“I know this is very short notice, but it has come to my attention that due to these tough economic times, there will be children right here in our own backyard that will go without this Christmas,” Phillips said. “I cannot and will not sit idly by and let that happen.”

Phillips needs bicycles, lots of bicycles to help fill that void.

“I’ve spoken with two local social workers; one told me there were over 300 names of children on her list,” Phillips noted. “I’ve got to do something. I cannot let a child miss out on a chance to experience in their hearts the joy and excitement of Christmas morning.”

She continued, “I know times are tight on all of us…some will just barely get by providing for their own families this year. But to those with a little extra, or to those with an old bike no longer used, please give. I can take the money to purchase new bikes or refurbish the older ones. No child should be left with an empty feeling on Christmas morning. Please help in any way you can.”

Those wishing to contribute to this effort are urged to immediately contact Phillips at 252-357-2295.

For the past 10 years Jacklyn and her husband, Bill, 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.

Jacklyn said all shapes and sizes of bicycles are needed.

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