Gives away 4,000 bicycles and counting
By Meagan McGone
BREVARD - After six years of operation, the Sheriff's Bike Program has donated more than 4,000 bicycles to the underprivileged in Brevard.
Aug. 1 marked its 4,000th donated bicycle, given to a child who will use it to get to and from school each day. His name was withheld, per his mother's request for privacy.
"Helping a child who needs a bike to get to and from school is one of the ways we help out in the community," said Maj. Greg Robertson of the Brevard County Sheriff's Office, which organizes the Sheriff's Bike Program.
The program aims to collect donated, abandoned and unclaimed bicycles and bring them to the Brevard County Sheriff's Work Farm in Cocoa, where inmate labor is used to refurbish the bicycles. They are then distributed to children in need, as well as shipped to Brevard County Sharing Centers and veterans' organizations for adults without transportation.
This year, Walmart stores in Cocoa, Melbourne, Merritt Island and Titusville donated more than 200 new bicycles to the program.
"Walmart donates hundreds of bikes to us every year," Maj. Robertson said. "Those are how we get most of our bikes."
The program has also partnered with Waste Management to obtain discarded, curbside bicycles. Waste Management picks up unwanted bicycles that people have placed by the curb on their scheduled trash pick-up days and transfers them to the Brevard County Sheriff's Work Farm in Cocoa.
"This is good for the inmates because they gain skills for when they get back out in the community," Maj. Robertson said. "And it gives bikes to those in need. It's a win-win for the community."
Brevard residents can donate bicycles directly to the program by dropping them off at any of the Brevard County Sheriff's Office precincts, or the Brevard County Sheriff's Work Farm at 2955 Pluckebaum Road in Cocoa.
For more information, call (321) 609-1505 or visit www.brevardsheriff.com.