How to help
What: Hall County Sheriff’s Office Christmas Bicycle Program
To donate: Contact Capt. Chris Matthews, Hall County Sheriff’s Office Courthouse Division
More info: 770-531-7095
With Halloween in the rearview mirror, the Hall County Sheriff’s Office is now gearing up for the holidays with a Christmas bicycle collection fund.
Beginning this week, the sheriff’s office will begin receiving donations for its Christmas Bicycle Program, an annual holiday drive to give bikes to needy children.
In the past six years, an estimated $73,000 has been raised for the program, according to Hall County Sheriff’’s Office spokeswoman Deputy Nicole Bailes.
Capt. Chris Matthews, who is in charge of the program, set a personal goal of $5,000 per year, she said.
“Any remainder balance stays in an account specifically for the bicycle program and will continue to fund the program if donations are slow or minimal for a year,” Bailes wrote in an email.
More than 120 bicycles, helmets and small toys have been purchased through the fund in the last six years alone. After humble beginnings at the program’s inception in 1997, the deputies involved have seen the program grow steadily.
“What better way to spread holiday cheer than to give back to those less fortunate,” Bailes wrote. “This is for such a worthy cause and no dollar amount is too small.”
The sheriff’s office has partnered with the Gainesville Wal-Mart to provide the bicycles.
Applications to receive a bicycle can be completed at the Hall County Courthouse during regular business hours, Monday through Friday. Donations can be made through the Hall County Sheriff’s Office Courthouse Division and Matthews. Those wishing to donate can also contact them at 770-531-7095.