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Hundreds of disadvantaged children will enjoy thrill of a bike under the Christmas tree thanks to charity

Charities around the world providing bikes for children on the poverty line

More than 1,500 disadvantaged children will have a bike under the Christmas tree thanks to a charity scheme in Detroit.

1,550 children receives free bicycles and helmets in metro Detroit Saturday, thanks to Toys for Tots and a $250,000 donation from Detroit Pistons owner Tom Gores and his wife, Holly.

Toys for Tots has been in operation since 1947 when it began in Los Angeles.

Sakiya, 14, and her sister, Samiya Harris, 12, were both given brand new Schwinn and Hello Kitty branded bikes at the weekend, at an event where staff were on hand to assemble and fit the bikes.

The children were selected from families that had applied and were listed as living below 150 percent of federal poverty guidelines.

Marine Staff Sgt. Scott Bare told The Elkhart Truth: “So what we’ve done is we’ve got 1,550 bikes set up for families all throughout Detroit and the metro Detroit area, and ... we’re really bringing them a little more hope and happiness and letting Toys for Tots do what Toys for Tots does and invest in the children of the country.

“These are people that are struggling on a day-to-day basis, not only maybe to make payment on their bills but just to have something for their children for Christmas,” he said.

Closer to home, children in Leeds also have the gift of a bike to look forward to thanks to generous donations of more than 80 bikes given to The Works Skatepark Charity’s Christmas bike programme.

Disadvantaged young people living in Leeds will be given a refurbished bicycle for Christmas, along with training and bike maintenance lessons.

Elliott Turnbull, chief executive of The Works Skatepark charity, told the Yorkshire Evening Post: “This project will have ripple effects City wide and provide everyone involved with a sense of pride for where they live.

“This time of year can be really difficult for some families so hopefully this Christmas package will make it that little less of a struggle.”

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

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