SOUTHERN PINES: Santa hosts Christmas bicycle give-away - WRBL

Moore Co. Project Santa hosts Christmas bicycle give-away

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SOUTHERN PINES, N.C. -

Hundreds of children in Moore County are enjoying bicycles thanks to a Christmas morning give-away.

The "Project Santa" in Southern Pines gathered 840 bikes through donations, and then gave the bikes to children on Wednesday morning.

"It's a blessing," said mother Kena Gagliano from Carthage. "They're really happy. It was cold, but they were happy to pick out their bikes."

Earl Wright started the give-away with a few dozen bikes 15 years ago. This year his organization filled the Bo's grocery store parking lot on Broad Street with 840 bikes.  Tyaijah Collins was one of the children who claimed a bike with her mother who is currently unemployed.

"Thank God for Earl giving away the bikes and a lot of people that helped out because without that we would have been in a tough spot," explained Tyaijah's mother Daja White. "It's good that they can come out and get gifts and feel loved and wanted because a lot of kids don't have. So it's a good thing."

This year's giveaway almost did not happen. In September more than a hundred bicycles Project Santa  was stored went missing from storage.

"I was gonna quit," Wright said.

Instead, wright's organizer Sharon Thompson pushed forward and got lots of donations from church and community supporters.

"I wish I could name every person that did this, but I can't. I can't," Wright said. "There's too many of them."

Thompson said the give-away simply would not have been possible without an outpouring of support and donations.

"It really makes me want to cry because I didn't realize there was this much love in Moore County," Thompson said.

The Christmas event also included a toy giveaway for needy families. The "God Sent Angels" mission charity let every child pick out donated toys to make their Christmas a little brighter.

Brandon Herring

Brandon is a North Carolina native and UNC alum who lives in Fayetteville, and covers Cumberland County and the Sandhills. Returning to North Carolina to work as a journalist is a dream come true for Brandon. More>>

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