For more than three decades, First United Methodist Church of Grapevine has made sure every child at Methodist Children’s Home (MCH) gets a bicycle for Christmas. The giving tradition began in the late 1980s when Jim Kennebrew, who was a member of FUMC Grapevine at the time, first organized the special donation.
Kennebrew recalled the joy he felt as a child when he received his first bicycle and decided he wanted to pass along that feeling to the children at MCH. His idea grew into an annual churchwide effort that takes several months of preparation. The church members begin the process in October to find out how many bicycles are needed, then purchase the bicycles, put them together and deliver them to the MCH campus on a Saturday morning in December. When the trucks arrive on campus in Waco, they are greeted by grateful MCH youth and staff.
”Bike delivery day is such a fun event,” said Kelly Lawson, director of annual giving at MCH. “Students from the Waco campus and Boys Ranch come out to help unload and sort all the bikes. It is exciting to see the smiles on their faces as they take bikes off the truck knowing one of those very bikes will be theirs on Christmas.“
The bicycles this year will be given to residential youth as well as children from families served through MCH Family Outreach in Bryan/College Station, Dallas, Killeen, and Waco. FUMC Grapevine members delivered 208 bicycles this year on Saturday, Dec. 7.
“This is such a special tradition with First UMC Grapevine, and with more MCH Family Outreach families receiving bikes than ever before, this year was their largest bike donation to date,” Lawson said. “We are thankful for the generosity of First UMC Grapevine for donating new bikes for each child that wants one – and for the many hours of work it takes to shop for, assemble and deliver them.”
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