By MARY RAINWATER
The Anderson County Sheriff’s Office DARE to Ride program has expanded its assistance this holiday season — from awarding DARE students with a refurbished ride to also providing bicycles to needy children this Christmas.
“We donated six bicycles to the ‘Fill the Truck’ toy drive at Dogwood Trails (Assisted Living) on Thursday,” Anderson County Sheriff Greg Taylor said. “They are going to make six children very happy this Christmas.”
The DARE to Ride program accepts donated bicycles that are refurbished by jail inmates for presentation to DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) students and (now) to less fortunate children.
It was founded in October 2011, with about 100 bikes being donated by the first distribution to DARE essay contest winners in January.
“We intend to expand the program and give (extra bicycles) to needy children,” the sheriff said in January. “We’ll find some avenues to give those away... (to children) that might not have a Christmas gift or maybe lost everything in a fire.
“It is such a worthwhile thing to do — to help needy children at Christmas.”
Taylor reported that monetary donations for DARE to Ride are needed to keep the program in operation.
“Inmates provided the labor to repair the bikes, but money is needed for replacing parts and repainting,” he said.
Donations to the program can be brought to the Anderson County Jail, located at 1200 E. Lacy St. in Palestine. For more information, call 903-729-6068.