For the second year in a row, members of the Palestine Police Department are making Christmas a little brighter for some local children.
The department has collected 20 bicycles to give to needy families as Christmas gifts, and will begin to distribute them today.
Chief Robert Herbert, who started the program with Officer Patsy Smith last year, said the bicycle drive is open to the community.
“If you're sincere and your child truly needs a bike, and you cannot afford a bike for your child, we have bikes that we can donate,” Herbert said. “So if your child is in need of a bicycle, ranging from probably about Kindergarten to first grade, please contact us and let us know and we can come and bring you a bike.”
Herbert said he was grateful to Palestine Walmart for donating the bicycles both years.
“We started it last year and we went to Walmart and we asked Walmart for a donation,” he said. “And Walmart, once again, was very generous in donating 20 bikes to us for needy kids.”
He said officers have contributed time and effort to the program, making it a real labor of love.
“Last year, we came up with this program, and we went and started fixing bikes up, and then we just started distributing bikes,” he said, adding, “it was a great program.”
Lt. James Muniz chipped in helping to prepare the bikes for children's use, adding pedals, tightening seats, airing up tires and just making sure they were ready to be ridden.
“We hope for this to be a continuing deal,” Muniz said. “I love bikes, and I love kids.”
For more information or to contact the Palestine Police Department, call 903-731-8436.