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"Foster Santa Elves" Put Together 300 Bikes For Kids

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

Savannah Minor and Josiah Colacito ride their new bikes.

Bob Moffitt / Capital Public Radio

Volunteers spent Thursday putting 300 bicycles together as part of the annual Foster Santa program in Sacramento.

Dozens of people opened boxes of Dynacraft-donated bikes and searched for the correct tools to put them together.

"How am I getting to the screw if it's right in there?" Bob Mandelson asked. "Oh, I have to use a little Phillips." FredTurner was working nearby, "There's tools that they make for screws. They're called screwdrivers." Then they laugh.

Turner and Mandelson are from the local cycling groups, the Sacramento Wheelmen and the Sacramento Bike Hikers.  

The bikes go to foster children and other at-risk kids.

Gordon Richardson is with the non-profit, Uplift Family Services.

"The holiday time is a time of struggle for kids who don't necessarily experience their lives in the same way as the Christmas that's covered in advertisements and the media, he said, “I think that the event is a small expression of the community's commitment to make sure that every child has a memorable Christmas."

Some of the bikes will go to kids who were nominated by Sacramento Police officers in the past year.

Roman Murrieta is a Lieutenant with the department.

"So when our officers show up and deliver these bikes on the 13th, 16th and 19th, that little message of hope is phenomenal."

Richard Cervantes will be a cadet in the police department's academy next year. Today, it's taking him about half an hour to put together each bike.

"I think it's an excellent program because it has doing things like this where we're helping out a community and helping us do productive stuff in society, so I think it's great." 

The non-profit Uplift Family and Sac PD officers will deliver the bikes later this month.

Bike Build

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