Hundreds of Foster Kids Getting New Bikes Thanks to Help from Inmates


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PICKAWAY COUNTY (Dawn Faugl) -- A remarkable number of foster children will be getting a brand new bike this Christmas thanks to the "bike lady."Kate Koch-Gatch's started a charity to give bikes to foster kids across Ohio. But, the program really exploded when she made a call three years ago to Brian Cook, the Warden at the Pickaway County prison."She had this idea that we had, we could provide labor to her," Cook said.The two met the very next day to work out details. Since then, inmates have been assembling hundreds of bikes for the group. This fall, they've assembled 750 bikes."It's just this sea of color and metal, and all I see is joy," Kate Koch-Gatch said. The inmates are happy to do the work, saying it reminds them of their own childhood and the fun they had on their bikes. "It's makin' us even happier to know we're about to make some kids very, very, very happy for Christmas," Marcus Travis, one of the inmates working with the program, said.Along with assembling the bikes, the inmates' charitable group "7th Step" also donates $4,000 to the Bike Lady, so she can purchase the unassembled bikes.This year, 1400 foster kids in 16 Ohio counties will have a new bike on Christmas morning.Koch-Gatch gets great joy from knowing the joy the bikes will be giving deserving kids. "When they get up on Christmas morning and see something big and bright and shiny under the tree, for that moment they get to be like any other kid, instead of a foster kid."

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