Every year, hundreds of at-risk and low-income children dream of having a bike of their own for Christmas, and The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Area Command’s Women’s Auxiliary is asking the community’s help to fulfill that dream.
The Women’s Auxiliary and its community partners work to raise funds to provide a bike to every child who asks for one during The Salvation Army Christmas Distribution and Angel Tree Program.
Throughout July, small red kettles will be located at 67 businesses throughout the metro to collect dollars for the sixth annual Buck$ 4 Bikes campaign.
“Every year, we have hundreds of children who ask for a bike at Christmas,” said D’Anna Pulliam, Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary volunteer. “It breaks your heart when they aren’t able to receive one. Sometimes, the only wish on their Christmas list is a new bike.”
Area businesses also help make holiday dreams come true. The public is invited donate at the Salvation Army Kettle at the various businesses throughout Oklahoma City. All funds donated will go directly to buying new bikes for children in Oklahoma City metro area this Christmas.
Kettles can be found at Arvest Bank locations; BancFirst locations in Nicoma Park, Jones, Harrah, Del City and I-240 at Sooner Road; First National Bank of Midwest City; J’s Hallmark; Spirit Bank locations; Schlegel Bicycle; Pro Bike; Al’s Bicycle locations; The Bicycle Store; Bike One; Del Rancho in Midwest City; Bandana Red’s in Choctaw; Sun & Ski Sports; Twid’s Sporting Goods; Tinker YMCA; Wheeler Dealer Bicycle Store; Homeland located on NW 122nd; Paris Plaza 66; The Buzz Coffee Shop and Tinker Tag Agency.
Other business locations include Advanced Chiropractic, Audio Recovery, Comtec Security, Fellers-Snider Law, Goddard School, Jasco Products, JGV Engineering, L3Communication, Liberty Mutual, Pace Butler Corporation, ReMax Realtors located on Wilshire and David Hoffhines State Farm Agency.
“We are overwhelmed by the generosity of the public, as well as our community partners,” said Area Commander Major Dan Proctor. “A bike is such a simple gift that brings so much joy to children who aren’t as blessed as you and I during Christmas.”
In the past five years, more than 1,000 children have received new bikes from The Salvation Army at Christmas. Last Christmas, 1,622 Angel Tree children requested bikes, and Buck$ 4 Bikes was able to provide 581 of those Christmas wishes.
“We purchase the bikes unassembled directly from a national bicycle company and free freight is provided by Old Dominion Freight Lines,” said Pulliam.
“Then, the first Saturday in December, over 100 community volunteers gather in one location to assemble the bikes just in time for Christmas. Free freight and free assembly allows us to spend every buck on bikes.”
For those wishing to donate bikes, only new bikes can be accepted. Bikes can be dropped off or donations can be mailed to: The Salvation Army, 311 SW 5th St., Oklahoma City, OK 73109
For more information about Buck$ 4 Bikes, contact Heide Brandes at The Salvation Army at 623-0665 or D’Anna Pulliam at 408-5457.
About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 126 years in the United States. Over 31 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. About 83 cents of every dollar raised is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.