Thirty-six children in the Southern End received new bicycles for Christmas, thanks to a program run by Quarryville borough and a businessman in Chester County. The business owner, who asked to remain anonymous, approached borough police 10 years ago about the program, said Quarryville borough manager and police chief Ken Work.
The business owner buys new bicycles and delivers them to the borough. Borough police and members of Quarryville's maintenance crew then deliver the bikes.
"It started out as a police department project but then the maintenance department got involved. It has evolved into a project that we all do," Work said.
Most of the bicycles are assembled before they are donated. This year, borough employees had to assemble six of the bikes. The bicycles range in size from one with training wheels to those with 26-inch wheels for older kids.
"We asked for 35 this year and he delivered them. Then we got a request for another one," Work said. "I was reluctant to call him and ask for another, but he had always told me to do that, so I did. He had one left over that was just the size we needed and he brought it up."
Police contact schools in the Solanco district to get names of kids whose families cannot afford to buy a bicycle for Christmas. Other suggestions come from a local prayer group.
The week before Christmas, borough employees delivered the bikes to homes across the region.
"We deliver them while the kids are in school," Work said. "We go everywhere from Christiana to Peach Bottom to Providence Township."
In the past 10 years, Quarryville has worked with the donor to deliver more than 150 bicycles.
The donor has spent thousands of dollars buying the bikes over the years. The businessman and his sons head out the day after Thanksgiving to buy bikes that are on sale at big box stores, Work said.