LIMA — More than 200 bikes will be given to needy children in the region this holiday season, thanks to the Barbers Giving Bikes charity
It started as a way for the co-owners of Silver Shears Barbers to spread Christmas joy to children, instead of exchanging presents for Jim Sherrick and Art Brinkman six years ago. Each year the Barbers Give Bikes charity expanded. Last year, they collected around 170 bicycles.
“With all our other barber shops that collect with us, it’s really blossomed over the last few years,” Sherrick said. “And it makes a great gift. Ithink everyone remembers their first bike that they’ve received as a gift.”
On Monday night, family, friends and a few Walmart employees loaded the first 120 bicycles into the back of a semi truck at the Walmart on Allentown Road. Many girls bikes were sky blue with pink streamers, while boys bikes had a black and red color scheme.
They’ll be distributed to various charitable organizations in the community, including churches, the Empty Stocking Fund and the Fraternal Order of Police.
This year, in addition to donations from the community, the group received a $3,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation and $2,500 from Lima Rotary to supply helmets for each bicycle. By the end of this year, more than 650 children will have received bikes over the past six years.
It’s not only a memorable present, but it’s also a way for kids to play outside.
“I’d like to see more kids outside than we see now,” Sherrick said. “Don’t get me wrong, computers and iPads are great … You just don’t see kids out playing.”