Most kids have a story to tell about owning their first bike, and for those who are less fortunate, there is now a non-profit working to change that – especially for tornado victims.
John Ballard hopes to mend more than a broken down bike,
"I kinda picture who is going to ride it. Ballard says every bike leaves his place with working brakes, tight spokes and decent tires. With a few helping hands, John Ballard created the non-profit OK Bikes 4 Kids," Ballard said.
At his home in Yukon, he takes in old bicycles and makes them like new again. All of the hard work shows Ballard has a soft spot for kids in need.
"I tear up cause of the kids, I always do that," Ballard said.
Ballard says it started when he began fixing up a few bikes for the neighborhood kids, but it has grown into much more.
Every month he gives away hundreds of bicycles to kids from low income families. Now, the mission is transforming. Ballard wants to donate a bike to every child impacted by the tornadoes.
"If you were down there and seen what we seen and the kids who come here and tell us the stories then you would be here helping out," Ballard said.
It takes a lot of time to refurbish the bikes, so Ballard is asking Oklahomans to pull together and collect 5,000 new bikes for kids who lost everything in the storm.
"These kids need some spirit brought back to them," Ballard said.
It's just one man's effort to get the youngest tornado victims on a path to recovery.
If you have a new or used bike, donations can be made on June 27 and 28 at 10 Main Street in Yukon, or at 615 S. Holly Avenue in Yukon.
For more information call (405)-779-6574.