Hundreds of kids ride off with smiles for the holiday season

Hundreds of kids ride off with smiles for the holiday season
(Source: WTVM/Jose Zozaya)
(Source: WTVM/Jose Zozaya)

Columbus, GA (WTVM) - Owner of East Coast Body Shop gives away donated bikes to kids for the holidays.

"As cold as it was this morning," said Chester Jackson, "to see this, it warmed the heart."

It was a chilly start for Jackson, owner of East Coast Body Shop, and hundreds of parents and kids lined up outside his business on Brennan Road. Many of them, huddled together, with a hot drink in hand. 

"We've been giving them out since 7 a.m.," volunteer Jarvis Hamilton said. "We've been giving out hot chocolate because people were already in line."

All of this, worth it in the end, as those moms, dads and volunteers saw the children smile from cheek to cheek, as they walked away with a brand-new bike from the 6th Annual Bicycle Giveaway.

Jackson said this event "comes from the heart" of so many donors and community members who d ropped off over 400 bikes for all shapes and sizes. 

"In other words, it's to the point where you're just overflowing," Jackson said, "because we have some beautiful people in Columbus, Georgia, and some wonderful children."

"This is so important," Hamilton said.  "Every kid needs a bike, every kid needs a bike."

News Leader 9 spoke to Taleah and Aaleah Beason, a pair of sisters who got their brand new set of wheels after waiting in line. 

Taleah said this growing Fountain City tradition really does brighten the holiday season for many families. 

"Functions like this make it better and easier for people who can't afford it," she said. "Instead of having nothing under your tree, now you have something."

This is the 6th annual bike giveaway hosted by East Coast Body Shop.

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