Couple collects bikes to donate to Auburn Police Dept. Toy Drive

Couple collects bikes to donate to Auburn Police Dept. Toy Drive

AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - An East Alabama School couple is reminding us all about the true meaning of Christmas.

Their story began when WTVM's Elizabeth White learned the Auburn Public Safety Toy Drive needed a lot more bikes for the 200 children they serve every year at Christmas.

The response was overwhelming.
Before the Facebook challenge, the Toy Drive had about 10 bikes. Now, they have close to 90 bikes to give to needy kids on Christmas morning.

Mechele Guilatte, an Opelika School bus driver who workers three other jobs, and her husband Ed, a local farmer, are known for their quick smiles and generous hearts.

"We are just very lucky to have each other," Mechele said. "I am lucky to have him and he is lucky to have me."

After seeing our Facebook Bike Challenge, Mechele collected donations from her Alfa Farmer's ladies group to buy two bikes to donate to the Auburn Toy Drive.

But then, in the middle of Wal-Mart, the couple decided they could do more children on Christmas morning by giving less to each other.

"We left the meeting and went to Walmart and bought two bikes and the manager, when I told him what we were doing gave us 10 percent off," Mechele said. "So our money stretched a bit. Well, my husband saw how emotional I was getting about buying the bicycles for the kids so he said 'baby let me buy you a bike and say that's your Christmas gift I'll give that to you for Christmas' and I said 'go on and buy two and that way I can say I'm going to give you a bike for Christmas it's a bike for a kid,' so we ended up buying four bicycles."

"Like she said we don't have a whole lot of money, but we can afford to give someone a bike, especially a kid on Christmas," Ed said.

Mechele works at a local restaurant, and drives buses for seniors at Monarch Estates, LifeSavers Ministry, and Opelika City Schools.

"I've been driving for Opelika since 1998, I love my children you mess with one of my kids you mess with me, they are my kids when they are on that bus," Mechele  said.

The couple loves children, but never had any of their own.

"I wanted four...but it didn't work out," Mechele said.

But this year on Christmas, Mechele and Ed will know the joy every parent feels on Christmas morning when a child squeals with delight at a new bike under the tree...

They may not see the joy in person, but they will feel it in their great big old hearts.

"She's always doing something for someone else, and that's what Christmas is all about," Ed said.

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