Refurbished bikes donated to westside children

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Messenger photos by Dedra Cordle
Officer Sean Taylor helps unload the newly refurbished bicycles. He said when he sent out the call to help bring new bikes to the kids in the neighborhood, he did not expect this type of response. “I expected 15 bikes maximum but now we’re giving away 75,” he said. “The outpouring of support from the community has been outstanding.”
Hamza Jama, 5, tries to get familiar with the pedals during his jaunt around the parking lot at Eakin Elementary School.
Officer Terry Kalous gives some assistance to Callie Price, 2. The 25-year veteran of the police department said getting to go on assignments like this is the “best part of the job.”

Approximately 75 newly-refurbished bicycles were delivered to children living on the westside of Columbus on Sept. 19.

Columbus Police Officer Sean Taylor has built a relationship with families in the neighborhood he patrols, and noticed children riding bikes that were not safe. Along with safety concerns, Taylor noted that large groups of children having to share just a handful of bikes.

In August, he enlisted the help of Starfish Assignment Columbus, to put out the call for donated bikes.

“This was nothing more than just wanting to give a kid a bike,” Taylor said.

He never expected the outpouring that followed: some 75 bikes donated within just a few weeks.

“The people of Columbus really stepped up,” he said.

In the weeks since, Columbus police officers and volunteers have fixed up the donated bikes. Their work has ranged from major repairs, to changing tires, to adding reflectors for safety.

Taylor’s fellow officers and Starfish volunteers delivered the refurbished bikes to children in the Wedgewood area.

Columbus Department of Neighborhoods provided helmets for the children and CPD’s bike officers gave safe riding lessons.

“Every kid deserves a chance to have fun and smile,” said Taylor.

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