Generous Man Fixes Up Bicycles, Gives Them to Kids Who Can't Afford to Buy Their Own
“I know his heart. He loves to be generous with people and give back to the community in any way, shape or form,” Shawn Ortolano's wife told Inside Edition.
A young boy from New York was recently given a bike free of charge, thanks to a man in his neighborhood who fixes used bikes and gives them away for free.
When Josh, of Staten Island, upgraded from training wheels to a two-wheeler bike, a generous man living across the street gave him the new one for nothing.
“I like that it’s comfortable when I sit on it and I like the color because it matches my hair,” Josh told Inside Edition.
Josh is not the only kid to receive a free bike.
In fact, Shawn Ortolano, 40, began his charity, Spokes of Hope, with the goal of gifting refurbished bicycles to kids who may not be able to afford their own.
“I had an extra bike, had a kid that didn’t have a bike, gave it to him,” Ortolano told Inside Edition. “He was so happy. It made me feel great. I had another bike and wouldn’t you know it, another kid without a bike. I’ve been chasing it ever since.”
Ortolano, who has a son, explained he has friends, other parents and various supporters of his charity donate out-of-commission bicycles to him.
“It could be a bike that a kid grew out of, it could be a bike that somebody pulled out of the garbage,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of friends who work for the Sanitation Department, they’ll take bikes that are being thrown out and they’ll give them to me. Even if I wasn’t to use the entire bike, I could put the tires on another bike.”
He then volunteers his time to repair them, whether that means changing the seat or rebuilding the frame.
Ortolano then either gives the bike away, or allows someone to trade in an old bike, or a bike they have grown out of.
“Two of the girls came together one day and they wanted to trade them in and they both left with mountain bikes,” he explained. “And another girl had come in with her little brother and they left with bikes as well.”
Ever since he started the program last year, Ortolano estimated he has given away at least 125 bicycles.
“I know his heart," his wife Nicole told Inside Edition. "He loves to be generous with people and give back to the community in any way, shape, or form. [It’s] a way to give back to the community because he really wants for a child to have a decent childhood.”
To learn more about Ortolano's cause, visit their Facebook page.
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