Thirty students at Springfield’s Milton Bradley Elementary School will start their summer with a new bicycle courtesy of Bob “The Bike Man” Charland.
It’s become an inspiring ritual that’s now been repeated fourteen times in our region: Charland delivering bicycles to deserving children a school in western Massachusetts.
On Friday, Charland dropped off 30 brand new bikes for children as young as six years old.
“There are great kids at every school that are very deserving of these bikes,” Charland explained. “And some of them just don’t have the ability to get them. So for us to come in here and do this is huge.”
“One student that was picked happened to tell me a couple of months ago if he could wish for one thing it would be a new bike,” Nicole Falcon, a member of the school’s staff told 22News.
That student’s mom, Carmen Torres recounted, “We were going to buy it for him, but then after that, we got the call and I was like ‘We’re gonna wait on this.’ So he’s waiting on a new bike.”
Charland suffers from a degenerative brain disease and has vowed to continue his mission of making children happy for as long as he can.
Charland started out by rebuilding older bicycles, but his mission has caught on, and now organizations and businesses are providing funds to buy new bicycles for these children.
Charland said, so far, he’s given away more than 500 bikes.
At the rate of one school per month, Charland is booked through 2019.