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Hall County Sheriff’s Office gives 102 bicycles to families in need
12192019 BIKES 5.jpg
Santa loads a bike into a pickup truck Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, as parents pick up bikes as part of the Hall County Sheriff's Office annual Christmas Bike Program. The Court Services Division partners with local churches, schools, CASA, and the Gateway House to establish contact with families to participate in the program. - photo by Scott Rogers

Santa Claus and his khaki-clad helpers loaded bicycles in the back of Martha Bustamante’s car Wednesday.

“When my kids see the bicycles, they are happy,” said Bustamante, who was picking up bicycles for her 11-year-old and 9-year-old twins.

The Hall County Sheriff’s Office bicycle program gave 102 bicycles to 27 families in need this year. Safe Kids Gainesville/Hall County also donated 100 helmets.

“Families are chosen through partnerships with the Hall-Dawson (Court Appointed Special Advocates) Program, churches, schools and others who have contact with those in need. Funds are raised through the (Sheriff’s Office’s) Show and Shine car show and donations from deputies, staff and community partners,” according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Parents gathered at the Hall County courthouse early Wednesday, Dec. 18, to pick up the bicycles. 

Lt. Greg Cochran said 23 of those 102 bicycles went to foster children, and the agency raised more than $10,000 to fund this effort.

The lieutenant said the annual event is “what makes it worthwhile this time of year.”

“One kid or one mother’s expression of gratitude, it just makes everything worthwhile,” Cochran said.