Wabash Valley man spends years restoring 500 bikes for area kids in need

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CLINTON, Ind. (WTHI) – The holiday season is upon us, and now is the time to help a fellow neighbor. As a community, we don’t want to forget about those in need. Especially, the children who often go without.

One Wabash Valley retiree has spent years making sure Christmas dreams come true, and there’s a way you can help him give back.

You know how the saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Nobody knows that better than Darrell Overpeck.

“I go out when yard sales start and I buy them there.” Overpeck is no expert on bikes – well, he didn’t use to be. Fixing them up started out as a hobby for the business owner turned handyman.

“Getting the bike is the cheapest thing. Fixing them is the most expensive, but I enjoy doing it. I wouldn’t care what it cost. If I want to do it I’ll do it,” said Overpeck.

Dedicating his time and using his own money, he has spent the last five years refurbishing gently used bikes. Transforming them into prized gifts for area children. “I feel great about it, but I don’t dwell on it. I just think about the next one.”

Overpeck remains humble and doesn’t want any praise. However, community leaders who pick up and help distribute the bikes, don’t want his overwhelming generosity to go unnoticed. “It’s great to be able to help the community in need and make sure they can get something for their child that possibly they couldn’t have gotten before. The work Darrell does is phenomenal,” said Mayor Jack Gilfoy.

Five-hundred children, who could not afford the childhood staple, now have bikes. While Overpeck doesn’t get to meet those on the receiving end, he can feel their sense of joy through his own memorable moments as a young boy.

“We lived for a bicycle, and I rode it everywhere. That was all we had.” And no matter the cost he finds creating those memories for others is priceless.

Are you interested in lending a helping hand? You can do so by donating slightly used bikes. For more information call the Mayor’s Office at (765) 832-7477.