Bikes for Tykes in final push in Catawba County - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Bikes for Tykes in final push in Catawba County

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HICKORY, NC (WBTV) -

At the HSM manufacturing facility in Hickory on Wednesday, a group of firefighters joined production staff to put together dozens of bicycles for needy kids.

The Bikes for Tykes program has been a project for the Hickory Fire Department for years. Local business leaders join in to help make the program a success.

"We would like to have a few thousand bikes," said Firefighter Marty Kanupp, who heads up the project. That goal, though, is one he knows would be difficult to make this year.

Instead, Kanupp is trying to improve from year to year.

So far for this Christmas giveaway, the group has almost 600 bikes ready to go. That's double the number from last year and they do expect the number to keep growing.

"We still have another week or so to go," said Kanupp. More than $20,000 has been raised to buy girls and boys bicycle, he said.

The bikes come "some assembly required" so volunteers pull out the tools and put them together.

On Wednesday nearly 50 bikes were completed. The bikes will be part of the Salvation Army giveaway to needy families at the Catawba County Fairgrounds in two weeks.

Firefighters said this was a special time for them, knowing that what they were doing would make some children smile this Christmas. They are used to helping the public is sometimes tragic situations.

Serving the public is their job, and this, they said is just part of it. "It's why I became a firefighter, " said Kanupp.  "It's who we are."

Kanupp is advising anyone who wants to make a donation that there is still time to do so. Just contact any Hickory fire station and tell them you are interested in helping the Bikes for Tykes program.

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