Team Bike Lady never meets the kids or caregivers that receive the bikes. Yet, on Christmas morning, we all wake up wondering what's happening around our community.
We don't hope for an Ohio white Christmas, but rather one that is 70 degrees and sunny. We imagine the screams of delight escaping little mouths of wide-eyed youngsters. We think of the teens who might realize their dream of participating in an extra-curricular school activity now that they have transportation. And we know the pride parents and caregivers feel. We can relate, because giving your child that first new bike creates a universal emotion that is shared by all parents.
Typically, neither caregivers nor recipients know about Bike Lady. But occasionally, someone sees the news, puts two and two together, and we get a little feedback...
...his junior and senior years because he got a bike. He then graduated high school and is currently in college. No one else in his birth family have done either.
...because they could ride their bikes between their separate foster placements.
... even in the rain, sleet, snow and hail. His foster mother has to pry him off his bike.
She was fostering two siblings when she agreed to take in their 3 additional siblings right before the holiday. She had neither funds nor time to get them Christmas gifts, but bikes were delivered for the sibling group.
The caregiver of two young boys was thrilled to get new coats and mittens for the boys, but then, a week before Christmas, bikes were delivered.
This was the feedback from a foster parent attending an agency foster parent / foster child / birth parent holiday party. She watched kids and caregivers absorb the news as a caseworker came into the party and told the kids that they could go into the next room and pick out their very own new bike.
After a long search, relatives were located for youngsters in the agency's care and they agreed to take in the children. However, they lived out of state. The siblings were put on a plane shortly before the holidays to meet their extended family and settle into their new home. Funds were tight and holiday gifts weren't in the budget. Unassembled bikes were sent via overnight delivery to arrive on Christmas Eve. A phone call that night was nearly incomprehensible because of the intense emotion as they described their overwhelming joy.
An elderly woman caring for five relatives stopped in to pick up bikes. She barely stood five feet tall. She was a proud woman determined to load those bikes in her car herself and refused assistance. In the middle of her second trip, she paused, dropped the bikes and doubled over. People immediately rushed to her side suspecting illness. It was gratitude and joy that had overcome her.
Two siblings suffering from extreme trauma were emotionally barricaded behind thick, thick walls. They would barely speak to anyone. They showed no emotion. They refused any kind of physical affection. Their social worker brought them bikes and one cried and the other hugged the worker.
Team Bike Lady has our own memory-making moments, unrelated to the children, that demonstrate the beauty of humanity. Here's just a sampling...
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