SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Bob “The Bike Man” Charland on Tuesday got some help in his mission to make sure all deserving children have a bike to ride.
The Texas Road House Restaurant in Springfield donated 10 percent of Tuesday night’s proceeds to Bob’s organization, “Pedal Thru Youth.”
They also set up a booth and raffled off bikes and tee-shirts. A local bank was donating helmets.
Over the last two months, Bob has donated 238 bicycles at 7 western Massachusetts schools. And later this month, with the help of the Worcester Boys and Girls Club, he’s bringing 40 bikes to low income kids in Worcester.
“It’s just growing at a rapid pace,” Bob Charland told 22News. “More School Districts are calling me. More Organizations are calling. So I’m hoping it’s gonna get up into the thousands soon. I’m really hoping. We have over 600 bikes in stock now.”
Charland surprised the restaurant manager with two bicycles to replace the ones recently stolen from her daughters. The girls also received helmets and bike locks. She was overwhelmed and rewarded him with a big hug.
Bob Charland started out repairing old bikes and giving them away to kids who couldn’t afford them. His mission has gained notariety and now local organizations are donating funds and new bicycles.
Charland is suffering from a degenerative disease, and has vowed to spend the time he has left fixing and donating bicycles to deserving children.
He has applied for a 501-C designation to officially make “Pedal Thru Youth a recognized nonprofit organization.
Bob wants to encourage kids to spend healthy time outdoors.
The “Pedal Thru Youth” motto is “Rebuilding bikes to rebuild our youth.”