DECATUR, Ill., (WCIA) — One man in Central Illinois is preparing for the holidays, even in September.
James Bond lives in Decatur. He wants to continue helping the community after he worked to update a bus stop at Maryland Street and Airport Plaza Drive just a few weeks ago.
After making connections with people taking the bus, parents told him about their kids needing bikes. He decided to start a bike drive right behind that stop.
“This has become a special place. God has an eye on this spot here,” he said. “A lot of nice people come through here.”
But, he wanted an added challenge. His goal is to pull in monetary and bike donations from all 50 states. His first donation came from North Dakota.
Then, the donations just kept coming. Bond wants children to have the bikes by the holiday season.
He said it’ll take a village.
“They can call their friends and talk about something that they normally wouldn’t talk about,” Bond said.
He met one nurse who works in Bethany. She has a friend in Hawaii and then called her right away.
Someone else saw him watering flowers near the tent. She said that a friend told her about the drive.
“Guess where she lives? Arkansas! She had bought a bike,” he said.
Bond’s family is helping him as well. His sister is making graphics and flying in from Oklahoma to help out.
“She got North Carolina, she got South Carolina, she got Maryland and I think Mississippi. One person got four states,” Bond said.
People can donate money for new bikes online via CashApp. Send money to the “$ParentsandKidsGroup” page. Make sure to include the dollar sign at the beginning when donating.
Or, those nearby can stop by the tent.
“We mark them off once we confirm they’re gonna buy a bike. Once that’s confirmed, then we mark them off,” he said.
He’s checked off 12 states so far and he’s looking forward to making more progress by December.
“It’s gonna be really cool to see that whole map colored in,” he said.
Parents can stop by the tent in Decatur and enter their kids in a raffle for the bikes. He said as long as there are enough donations, everyone should get one.
They’re collecting new bikes and donations until Dec. 1.