By MARY RAINWATER
After two years of providing refurbished bicycles to students in its Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) Program, the Anderson County Sheriff's Office's DARE to Ride program has depleted its inventory and is seeking donations of both bicycles and money.
“We have a DARE graduation ceremony on Friday, and after that we will be very low on bicycles,” Sheriff Greg Taylor told the Herald-Press. “We need the community's help in getting some more bikes.”
Fifth-grade students in Anderson County public schools go through a semester of DARE training, led by sheriff’s deputy Pat Douthit-Green, which gives them the tools to say no to drugs and make other healthy lifestyle decisions.
DARE to Ride is an essay contest, with the winner — a boy and a girl from each graduating class — receiving one of the DARE to Ride bicycles. The program began in October 2011, with the first set of bicycles distributed in January of 2012.
Once donated, the bicycles are refurbished by Anderson County Jail inmates who provide the labor to repair the bikes, while a local body shop gives time and materials to paint the donated bicycles.
Those who wish to donate bicycles are asked to contact Lauren York at the ASCO at 903-731-8228 to arrange for pick up. Please do not bring bicycles to the jail.
Monetary donations to the program can be brought to or mailed to the Anderson County Jail, 1200 E. Lacy St., Palestine, TX 75801.