Overwhelming response from community to replace stolen bikes

WTHI Photo, Chief Photojournalist Mike Latta
WTHI Photo, Chief Photojournalist Mike Latta

WABASH VALLEY, Ind. (WTHI) – Remember Jeff Winchester – a local father who stepped up to help repair donated bikes to replace some local children’s stolen bikes?

He asked the community for help and the response he has received can only be described as amazing.

While News 10’s Brittany Earl was checking back in with Jeff, she witnessed him taking some local children new bikes after they had theirs stolen.

This all started after Jeff and his daughters saw a story on News 10 about how someone had been stealing some bikes.

And in an effort to fix a wrong, they offered to fix donated bikes to replace the stolen ones.

“This is a very, very giving community which was nice to be able to show them that as well and it makes me proud to live here,” Jeff explained.

He picked up more than 60 donated bikes in just a matter of three days. And thanks to the work done by Jeff and his daughters, Shelby Freeman now has a new bike.

“It’s a good feeling knowing that someone would what to donate a bike for us and he would do that for us,” Shelby described after she received her new bike.
Jeff handed out a total of five bicycles on Thursday.

“There have been several nights that I’ve been up till two, three in the morning working on them,” explained Jeff. “Just because I want to make sure we get these in these kids hands as soon as possible.”

Bringing smiles to several faces.

“This guy right here… He pretty well took it upon himself to go around and try and get all these donations and these bicycles up and he did a fantastic job,” said James Michal, a thankful parent.

It was just one amazing gesture that is allowing kids to be kids.

“It’s important to give back,” Jeff said. “It’s important to help out and it’s amazing what you can do with just a little spark.”

Jeff is still welcoming any donated bikes. He currently has a waiting list for those families who need those bikes.

To learn more on how to make a donation you can send a message on the Pike Bike Tune-up and Repair Facebook page.

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