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Retired Fire Chief Brings Bikes to Kids in Need

"I'm just the guy that spearheads it there are dozens of professionals, business that make this happen, they really get it," said Blankenheim.

Posted: Dec 7, 2018 11:51 AM
Updated: Dec 10, 2018 9:19 AM

Shasta County, Calif.-- "I remember back in my childhood, the four of us kids got new bikes for Christmas. Before my dad passed on he said, 'Ted, you don't know the half of it, it took us three years to pay off our credit cards from those bikes,'" said Ted Blankenheim.

There were some lean years in for the Blankenheim family, but Christmas was special.

"That's always been on the back of my mind what my parents sacrificed and I thought, what could be better, every kid needs a bike, it's your first adventure out on the street!" Blankenheim said. 

Blankenheim grew up to serve as Fire Chief for Old Shasta.

He retired, but he's still not done working for his community.

13 years ago, he started Bikes for Kids,  to share his childhood passion with disadvantaged children.

"I had a little bit of cash and I bought a bunch of bikes and teddy bears and it took off from there," Blankenheim said. 

Last year, Bikes for Kids gave away 384 brand new bikes.

"I've had the ability to personally delivers bikes and it's amazing, they just can't believe somebody did this for them, and I'm the most blessed guy in the world to have so many friends to make this work," he said.

Blankenheim won't take all the credit.

"I'm just the guy that spearheads it there are dozens of professionals, business that make this happen, they really get it," Blankenheim said.

Community members also enjoy the giving aspect of the program. 

"I usually do this for my birthday. This is my birthday present to me, to give a bike to the kids," said a local donor, Marty Daily. "People really pitch in and it's just amazing to see." 

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