Hundreds of Kids Gifted Bikes - Palm Springs News, Weather, Traffic, Breaking News

Hundreds of Kids Gifted Bikes

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Santa got some help spreading holiday cheer to Coachella Valley kids as Variety the Children's Charity of the Desert hosted the 22nd annual Bike Giveaway at Palm Springs Motors.

"I'm kinda speechless," said 9-year-old Krislynn Galvan from Palm Springs.  It was a sight to behold: over 400 brand new bikes. A traditional gift is now a valley tradition.

"A bicycle means a lot. I remember my very first bike. It was a red Schwinn about the size we're giving away here and suddenly you know, I felt free. I had some independence. I could go places. I didn't have to depend on my parents. I used to hitch my little red wagon behind it and pull my little brother," said Michael Mathews, President of Variety The Children's Charity of the Desert.

After funds are raised through a phone-a-thon, it takes a little elbow grease to prepare for the big day.  "We turn out whole shop into Santa's workshop. We had over 50 volunteers who assemble all 400 bikes in about 3 and a half hours. It was unbelievable, it really puts you in the Christmas spirit. I'm so proud of our team at Palm Springs Motors. We've been doing this for over 10 years and it just gets better and better every single year," said Scott Simmers, the General Manager. 

Each student who receives a bike is selected by their teacher.  "18 of my kids did not have bikes so we figured out who needed them the most and 10 of them were nominated and 10 of them got bikes.  It means a little more freedom, some responsibility, they have to wear their helmet and obey some traffic rules. They were so excited its like they had won the lottery," said a local teacher, Maria Tota.

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