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Saturday, December 6, 2008

From the mailbag: A Children Services Holiday Bike-A-Thon

THE BACKGROUND: My husband Brian and I are foster parents with
Franklin County Children Services. While we aren't currently
fostering a child, we are involved as volunteers. There are over
5,000 local children under FCCS care. It's an astounding number. Most
have been neglected or abused at some point in their short lives.

Public funds cannot be used for foster children's gifts. The majority
of these children depend on community generosity to receive even one
holiday gift. Through the FCCS Holiday Wish campaign, you can
brighten the holidays for these children in need. You can provide
new, unwrapped toys of any kind, donate gift cards or contribute
cash. But, I'm asking for something more, something special. We have
organized an impromptu "bike-a-thon".

THE PHILOSOPHY: Think back to some of your favorite childhood
activities. I bet riding your bike is one that comes to mind. Your
bike allowed you to visit friends, go to the pool, the park, school,
a part-time job or just enjoy the sense of independence it provided.
It's clear that many families are facing tough economic times this
year. Yet, you would probably agree that every kid should have a
bike. Every kid should experience the fun and freedom a bike
provides. And every kid should experience the thrill of getting a
shiny brand new set of two wheels at least once during their

THE PITCH: I am asking you to consider donating a new bike for a
local foster child, individually or as part of a group, to the FCCS
Holiday Wish program. Imagine the excitement and thrill you will make
possible. Imagine the freedom and fun the bike will provide for
several years to come. Imagine making this holiday season truly
unforgettable for a few foster kids. They will always remember 2008
as the year they received a brand new bike!

Little bikes. Big bikes. Girl's bikes. Boy's bikes. One-speed. Ten-
speed. Bikes for all kinds of teens and tykes!

THE PROCESS: It's simple.

1. Know that you can purchase a pre-assembled quality bike for under
$100 at discount stores
2. Know that your donation if fully tax deductible
3. Times are tight for some. Consider pooling resources with a few
friends, neighbors or co- workers to purchase a bike
4. Consider asking your employer, church or civic organization to
also donate a bike
5. Purchase the bike(s) and then
a. Deliver to FCCS main lobby at 855 West Mound Street
b. Or contact me to pick up at your home and deliver on your behalf
c. Or drop off at our home
6. Bikes must be received by December 14th
7. Include a helmet if at all possible

Remember, cash, gift cards and any new unwrapped toys are also
greatly needed. Additional Holiday Wish information can be found at Please contact me
with any questions and thank you for considering this appeal.

Will you participate in some way? Will you give a kid a bike?


Katherine Gatch


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