- Associated Press - Sunday, December 21, 2014

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) - Young residents of American Indian reservations in South Dakota will soon receive 100 bicycles restored by a local nonprofit.

Dale Bishop is donating the used bikes through his nonprofit Yellow Bike Program in Rapid City, the Rapid City Journal (https://bit.ly/13G6VEX ) reported. For nearly 20 years, he has been collecting used bikes, repairing and donating them to other local nonprofits so they can be given to needy children. He has distributed them primarily through Rapid City Toys for Tots until this year, when the program said it will enforce its national policy of only accepting new toys.

Bishop, 57, said the Toys for Tots policy is keeping children whose families are struggling from owning a free bike.

“Kids outgrow bikes so quickly they need new ones and what’s the difference to a kid whether a bike is new or used?” he asked. “They’re still shiny under a Christmas tree.”

Bishop recently learned that his program could no longer donate the bikes or associate itself with Toys for Tots. The notification came after more than 75 local businesses had already made donations to his program and after about 30 members of the South Dakota National Guard and airmen from Ellsworth Air Force Base helped prepare the used bikes for their new owners.

So, Bishop will give the bikes to reservations instead.

The Glendive, Montana, native became interested in bike repair at a young age, growing up with 13 siblings and scouring the town for used bike parts, he said.

“This is all I do - bicycles,” Bishop said. “Why do I do it? The Lord tells me to. I’m just the middle man. Seeing the smiling faces of the children is my greatest reward.”


Information from: Rapid City Journal, https://www.rapidcityjournal.com

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