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Pay It Forward: Quad City group donates bikes to Toys for Tots

The Quad Cities Bike Club organized a bike drive six years ago called 'Bikes for Tykes' to donate to Toys for Tots.

BETTENDORF, Iowa — A Quad City group is crossing off a gift every child has on their wish list for Christmas.

The Quad Cities Bike Club organized a bike drive six years ago called 'Bikes for Tykes' to donate to Toys for Tots.

The group increases the amount of bikes donated every year for children.

"The first year we donated one little bike," said Pay It Forward nominee and Quad Cities Bike Club coordinator Jackie Wessels. 

Children up to 12 years old enjoy a new bike through the program.

"I had the idea that I needed to do this," Wessels said. "Growing up as a kid, I never had a bike. I would ask for a bike every year and it just didn't happen."

Wessels said the group's goal is to donate 100 bikes for Christmas 2021.

"I want to make sure there is a child that has a bike under their Christmas tree," Wessels said. 

"We're so happy that Jackie was nominated for the pay it forward award," Ascentra Credit Union's Lindsey Osborne said to the award nominator. "Her Bikes for Tykes program that benefits Toys for Tots is really an awesome contribution to the community, especially at this time of the year. And her work in that really reflects Ascentra's motto of listening, caring and doing what's right. So on behalf of Ascentra and WQAD, I'd like to give you this $300, so you can pay it forward to Jackie."

"Jackie, on behalf of WQAD channel 8 and Ascentra Credit Union, we are paying it forward and giving you $300 for Bikes for Tykes," Quad Cities Bike Club member John Harrington said to Jackie.

A helmet, air pump, bike lock for larger-sized bikes and Whitey's gift card is provided by the group with every bike.

"The bikes really go a long way for kids," Pay It Forward nominator Tina Anderson said. "It offers them a mode of transportation and opportunity for fun."

Group members all come together to load up every bike and each one is checked for mechanical issues.

The program relies on donations to grow the number of bikes purchased every year.

Quad Cities Bike Club is partnering with Crawford Brew Works for its  “Crawford's Culture of Care” series to donate tips and beer sales to "Bikes for Tykes" on Thursday nights, Dec. 2, 9 and 16th. 

A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise money for the Bikes for Tykes program. You can find that page by clicking here.

For more information about the Quad Cities Bike Club and its events, click here.

Additional information on Toys for Tots can be found here.

If you know someone you'd like to nominate for the Pay It Forward Award, click here.