It's the most wonderful time of the year. But it can also be stressful, especially if you're tight on cash and want great presents for your family. Central New York volunteers are working to make the holidays a little easier with the 18th Annual CNY Family Bike Giveaway. As our Katie Gibas shows us organizers are still looking for donations but are well underway to fixing the hundreds of bikes they already have.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- Preparations are underway to fix hundreds of bicycles for the Annual CNY Family Bike Giveaway. This is the 18th year for the event.
"Myself and a group of my friends would stay after school and let these kids ride our bikes, and I said, idealistically, 'Well, if I'm ever rich, I'll buy everybody a bike.' I never became rich but we live in a great community here in Syracuse. People donate the bikes. We fix them up and that helps a lot of people. We are in the 18th year of the bike giveaway. We really need about another 1,000 bikes to make this a good Christmas," said Jan Maloff, the Organizer of the Annual CNY Family Bike Giveaway.
A number of volunteers are working eight hours a day to fix everything before the giveaway later this month.
"We take bikes in any condition. Don't judge your bike if it's missing a wheel or it's rusty. There are parts we can get off of that," said Maloff.
"I've been repairing bicycles for the past four years," Volunteer Bob Rendino said. "It could be a matter of moving them from that point to this point or a matter of you have to tear it down."
"A lot of them are very good bikes," Rendino said. "Some of them are antiques actually."
More bikes come in every day, and organizers are hoping for another 1,000 donations within the next two weeks.
"There's a lot of people in our community that are financially burdened right now. Unemployment is high, so we're giving these bikes not only to children, but to their parents as well. It's a great family fun activity that's healthy and it doesn't cost anybody anything," said Maloff.
The annual giveaway is Saturday, December 21 at 11 a.m. at Fowler High School.
"The giveaway day is the culmination of many months of work. It's very exciting for myself and the volunteers to actually be able to give a great gift to families who may not have another thing coming this Christmas Season," said Maloff.
There are no signups or requirements to get a bike. You can just show up December 21 at Fowler High School.
If you'd like to donate a bike, you can drop them off at the New York State Fairgounds, Monday through Friday between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. or on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
You can mail financial donations to:
CNY Family Bike Giveaway
4612 South Salina Street
Syracuse, NY 13205