Volunteers from the Salvation Army, Rollins Moving and Storage and Walmart associates pass bicycles along a human chain as they load two semi-trucks with 154 bicycles at the Walmart on Tuttle Road Thursday. The bicycles will be destributed by the Salvation Army to needy children in Clark County this Christmas. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Salvation Army will give more Clark County kids bikes this year

The Springfield Salvation Army teamed up with local companies in a new campaign aimed at providing children in low-income homes with new bicycles for Christmas.

“We vowed last year to make sure more kids got bikes this year than last year. Last year, one out of every four kids got a bike. This year, three out of four kids got bikes or better,” said Ryan Ray, Director of the Salvation Army.

This week, the Salvation Army teamed up with Walmart and Rollins Moving and Storage to complete shopping for more than 150 bikes to be delivered to Clark County kids during the holidays, said Ray.

Ray worked with the manager of the Walmart on Tuttle Avenue in Springfield to purchase as many bikes as possible with money raised through the new Red Kettle Pedal campaign. “He was able to pretty much double what we thought we were going to get. So, we were excited about that and then he asked me what we were going to do about assembly of the bikes,” Ray said.

Walmart had an answer for that.

“In a day and a half, our two assembly workers built all these bikes for us. ,” said Matt Carter, manager at Tuttle Avenue Walmart. “When Ryan got with me, I was just so excited to be able to help with this great cause.”

Ray said the assembly of 154 bikes saved the charity an additional $2,000.

“So, we loaded them up into a Rollins truck, who partnered with us as well, and transported them to the toy shop,” said Ray, referring to where the the bikes will be stored wait until they are picked up for their new owners.

The Salvation Army held the Red Kettle Pedal, a family-friendly bicycle ride, in September to raise money to purchase the bikes.

The ride brought in just over $8,000 according to Ray.

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In November, the Salvation Army designated a week for families and individuals to make requests for assistance. This included the option of Christmas assistance and gift help, with many children asking for bikes.

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