SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - This Christmas, the Salvation Army will be providing kids with more bikes than they ever have before, and it’s all thanks to the Springfield Walmart on Tuttle Road.
“When I approached Matt here, the store manager, he was all on board very quickly,” development director Ryan Ray said. “He wanted to help as many kids as possible in the Springfield community so he stretched our money and pretty much doubled what we thought we were going to get.”
The Salvation Army raised more than $8,000 this September after its first ever Red Kettle Pedal, which would have gotten them about 70 bikes. That would have been great, but Walmart decided to lower the prices so that they could double that and give bikes to 154 children.
“At Walmart we just love to help and it makes me so excited any time someone says, ‘Matt, can you help me do something in the community?’” store manager Matt Carter said.
Then came the hard part. How was The Salvation Army going to put together all of these bikes?
“There’s nothing special about a box under the tree, but the bike with the big bow really makes it special,” Carter said.
He decided to gather his team at Walmart and assemble all of them at absolutely no cost.
The next obstacle was finding a way to transport them, but Rollins Trucking quickly stepped up to the plate.
“We’ve always worked with The Salvation Army each year during this time,” vice president of Rollins Trucking Tim Rollins said. “Ryan reached out, said he needed some help with transportation, and it was a no brainer.”
“These bikes are more than a gift they’re gonna push to the back of their closet in two weeks,” Ray said. “For these kids it’s going to be a gateway to adventure. It’s going to be a means of transportation for these kids. And it’s going to be a means to get to safe places in the community.”