The Christmas Bicycle Giveaway is a very special program in our county – not only because hundreds of local children receive bicycles, but also because these bikes are refurbished by inmates at the Sheriff’s Honor Farm.
Inmates make repairs to get the bicycles in premium condition for the children who receive them at the giveaway. “The program instills in the inmates a positive work ethic, self-respect and a sense of worth to the community,” says Tony Cipolla, Public Information Officer at the Sheriff’s Office.
This year, faces glowed and smiles abounded at San Luis Obispo Farmer’s Market and outside the Sheriff’s Honor Farm as more than 320 bicycles were given away on December 7 and 15.
Many people join the Sheriff’s Office to put on the Christmas Bicycle Giveaway every year. Donors include Rita’s Rainbows, The Sandlot Group, and local Target and Walmart stores. This year, the Sandlot Group purchased $10,000 worth of bicycles. In addition, 85 of the bicycles given away this year were a gift from 87-year-old Dr. Don Morris, who bought them at the Cal Poly bike auction. The Sheriff’s Advisory Foundation, Art’s Cyclery and Bike SLO County help put on the event and distribute the gifts.
“It’s all worth it, to see a child’s face light up when they receive a bicycle,” says Tony. You can view more photos of the giveaway on the Sheriff’s Facebook page or read more about it on their website.