Ohio inmates help prepare bikes for foster children

12-20 - bikes for foster kids

An Ohio prison felt a little like Santa's workshop Tuesday as inmates put the finishing touches on hundreds of bikes that will become gifts for foster children in Franklin County.

More than 350 bikes, helmets, and locks were delivered to Franklin County Children Services through the 'The Bike Lady" charity, which was founded in 2008 by former foster mom Kate Koch.

“Bikes are an awesome gift for kids with a history of abuse or neglect. They are a big, shiny and hold the promise of great adventure. They provide joy and hope," Koch said. "A bicycle is something a child in foster care can ‘own’ during a time of transition, something that truly belongs only to them. The bikes are transportation for the older teens. And riding your bike is a chance to be like any other kid. And ultimately, your first bike is a positive lifelong memory.”

The charity will provide 1,700 bikes to children in 45 counties this holiday season, Koch said, and more than half them were assembled by inmates in the Pickaway Correctional Institution. Inmates in six other Ohio prisons also helped, along with several corporate sponsors.

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