After a two-week drive for bicycles and refurbishment to like-new shape, a local church and bike shop worked together to bring extra Christmas joy to area children in need.
Foursquare Church Plant Big River Chapel congregation members gathered seven bicycles, with two more on the way, said Pastor John Paul Tomko. Pedal'rs owner Bobbie Altiser restored each bike. Tomko said church members really appreciated his efforts, noting that small businesses like Pedal'rs can reach out to the community directly — including thw way Altiser offers bike rentals from the shop.
Big River Chapel's donation program assisted more then 200 families with bedding, kitchen and bathroom items in 2015 and over 80 families in 2016. This holiday season they wanted to do something special.
"Being raised in California I have always loved being active and mobile in my youth, and I could tell moving to Hannibal four years ago that kids in my own neighborhood wanted the same thing. I've met so many kids who have nothing and it's the heart of St. Nicholas and our shared faith in Jesus that brings us to a sense of normalcy when we give instead of take. It's up to us to be the change," Tomko said.