PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A Washington bicycle shop owner on Thursday hand-delivered 63 bikes for kids served by Children’s Home Association of Illinois, continuing a multi-year partnership between the two organizations.
Joe Russell, owner of Russell’s Cycling and Fitness Center in Washington, collects new and used bicycles all year long, refurbishes them if needed, and then provides them to the kids at Children’s Home during the holiday season.
“We are blessed to have this partnership,” said Matt George, president, and CEO of Children’s Home Association of Illinois. “It’s unbelievable to be able to take possession of such a great gift.”
Every bike comes with a card and of course, a big red bow.
“You should see these kids’ smiles. Most of the kids never had bikes. A lot of kids have grown up without a lot of the essentials that we grew up,” said George.
George said Russell has donated hundreds of bicycles to the Children’s Home over the years.
“When you have at holiday time this type of partnership, and when you see the kids’ faces and smiles that the kids have, it’s really something that makes your heart melt,” he said.