WEST CHESTER, Pa. -- Sometimes, families can't afford to give their child a bicycle for the holidays. That's where the 100 Wheels Project in West Chester rolls in.
"In 2008, when there was a dip in the economy and donations to toy drives were pretty low, we decided that, you know what, every kid deserves a bike," said Mike Dolan. "So, let's fill that need."
Dolan is the Marketing Manager for Pine Street Carpenters, a West Chester business now in its 15th year of organizing the 100 Wheels Project.
During the annual event, volunteers of all ages build bikes in a workshop environment that would make Santa's elves proud. They are shipped off to several community organizations that make the connection with families in need.
One such organization is Home of the Sparrow, a Chester County nonprofit that is focused on preventing and ending homelessness for women in children.
"When you're low income and you need to spend every dime on those life necessities, you know that a bike isn't an option," said Kathleen Sanger, Director of Development with Home of the Sparrow. "But you know you want to give your child a bicycle."
Home of the Sparrow will receive roughly 14 bikes and then give them to parents who are a part of their program. The volunteer effort that took place today is what makes that holiday gift possible.
"It's so neat to see them feel so much joy today even though they're not on the receiving end," said Sanger. "Just knowing how much it's going to mean to kids when they do open the bikes."
David Murray came with his family from King of Prussia to build one bicycle after another. He enjoyed teaching his sons, Benjamin and Joshua, more than just how to use tools.
"It's important that the little guys start to get a good grasp on giving back to the community," said Murray. "And that it's not just all about them and it's not all about whatever's going on in our world."
To learn more about the 100 Wheels Project and how to get involved in the future, visit their website.