Healing Hearts Provides Bikes To Children For Christmas

Healing Hearts Provides Bikes To Children For Christmas

  • 12/21/2017 1:42:37 PM
  • Emily Ramey
  • Local News

MANSFIELD, OH- Healing Hearts Counseling Center at Parkside collaborated with Richland County Children Services, to help brighten the holidays of children in the Kinship Navigator Program. 

Healing Hearts ordered 50 bikes from Bike Lady Inc., a nonprofit charitable organization based in Columbus Ohio, that provides new bikes, helmets, and locks to children who have a history of abuse, neglect, and abandonment, and are served by county child protective services.

The bike giveaway is part of the Richland County Children’s Auxiliary Christmas Project with Crossroads Community Church.  The children are referred to the auxiliary program through Richland County Children Services and the Kinship Navigator Program.

“This was a unique and wonderful way for our clients to give back to the community. To some clients, putting the bikes together was an opportunity to make amends and help others.” Said DeWayne Lee, Vice President of Operations.

“Kinship Care providers are grandparents and older individuals who are unexpectedly raising a child or a group of children. Our Kinship Care providers range in age from 45 to 85 and the stress of caring for children can be challenging,” Kinship Navigator Rhonda Marsh said.

Reasons for Kinship Care can include parental incarceration, death, mental or physical illness, substance abuse, domestic violence, child abuse or neglect and teenage pregnancy.

“This means a lot to the families in the program who are on a fixed income that are not able to buy Christmas gifts. We’re so thankful for the support of donors, the auxiliary, Crossroads Community Church and the entire community,” Marsh said.

Clients from Healing Hearts assisted with putting the bikes together and making Christmas cards that will be given to each child that receives a bike.

“We had eight clients and several staff members make the Christmas cards. Our Art Room turned into Santa’s Workshop for this project,” Healing Hearts Counseling Center Support Staff Anita Hickinbotham said.

“Each card has the special message “Merry Christmas and enjoy your new bike,” Hickinbotham said.

“Inmates from Pickaway Correctional Institution also wrote words of encouragement for the kids,” Healing Hearts AOD Supervisor, Rich Hoffmann said.

The bikes will be given away Friday at Crossroads Community Church at the 13th annual Adopt-A-Child Christmas Program. In 2016, the program provided 1,033 children from 430 families free gifts including winter coats, gloves, hats, toys, and even beds.

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