Santa Has Helpers At Decatur City Hall


One of 30 new bicycles donated by First Response Ambulance Service is carried into Decatur City Hall Tuesday morning. (Photo: Al Whitaker WHNT News 19)

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DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) - It's Thanksgiving week, and that means the official start of the Christmas shopping season is just days away. But for many families, who are struggling through the economy, it's just an especially sad and stressful time of year. Well, there's a member of the Decatur City Council who, for the second straight year, is trying to make things a little more cheerful for some Decatur-area families. In fact, if Roger Anders meets his goal, some 250 Decatur children will find a new bicycle under the tree Christmas morning.

Decatur District 2 City Councilman Roger Anders says he and the other members of the city council wanted to make Christmas a little brighter for some Decatur families last year. So they asked for donations of new bicycles.

"Last year, we collected over a hundred and forty bikes. This year, we're shooting for 250," Anders said

Anders says with so many people struggling, it was a pleasure to be able to give something back to the community. "It's so touching, last year me and my wife actually gave out the bikes over a 3-day period, and parents came in with tears in their eyes just thanking us for the contribution we was making because we know that without it, there'd been kids who wouldn't have had Christmas."

Which brings us to this year. The Peddling Christmas Cheer Drive got a big boost Tuesday morning when First Response Ambulance Service rolled 30 brand new bicycles into city hall. 

"It's just been overwhelming the response we've got since opening here in the City of Decatur and we thought about giving something back to the community," says David Childers, Executive Director of First Response. He added, "And then we heard about Councilman Anders, that he was taking up bike donations, we knew it was just something we had to play a role in."

About 50 new bicycles already surround the entrance to the city council chambers, and there's room for about 200 more.

Councilman Anders says they will accept donations of new bicycles at city hall during normal business hours. You can donate as many as you'd like. They will go to children in Decatur. He hopes individuals as well as local business and industry will take part to help make certain Decatur children are not forgotten.

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