GAINESVILLE - The Hall County Sheriff's Office handed out 100 bicycles Tuesday as part of its annual Christmas Bicycle Program.
The program dates back to 1997 when a group of deputies pooled their money together to purchase bicycles for needy families. At that time they were able to purchase ten bicycles. The program has grown so large now that the goal was to raise $10,000 every year.
The Sheriff's Office contacts area churches, schools, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) and Gateway House to establish contact information for families that may benefit from the program. Finally the families are given the option to either have the bicycle delivered to their homes or to make arrangements to collect the bicycle themselves.
This year the Sheriff's Office reached out to the Williams family which recently fell victim to a house fire. The home was a total loss and one of the children involved was burned.
"We are excited to say that, that young man is recovering well!", said Deputy Nicole Bailes. The Sheriff's Office donated and delivered three bicycles to that family.
Key donors this year: Apple House Auction, Walmart, Greene Ford, Riverside Pharmacy, HCSAAA, King Green of N.E. Georgia, Inc., AAA Bonding, Leon Farmer, Gregory and Patricia Egan and Safe Kids of Gainesville/Hall County.
This year the Sheriff's Office was able to purchase 100 bicycles and helmets, provided to over 40 families. Donations are accepted year-round and can be made by contacting Capt. Chris Matthews or Sandy Garrett at email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org or you can call 770-531-7095.