• 57°

Salisbury Police, Gerry Wood give more than 100 bikes to children

By Shavonne Walker

shavonne.walker@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Ashley Smith on Monday was able to check off one thing she didn’t have to buy her 13-year-old son, C.J., for Christmas — a much-needed bicycle.

The seventh-grader was greeted Monday morning at the family’s doorstep by Salisbury Police officers who hand-delivered the bike. This is the 18th year that the Salisbury police and Gerry Wood Auto Group have partnered to purchase and give away bikes and teddy bears to little ones who are too young. That’s in addition to thousands of candy canes.

“It’s wonderful. It really helps,” Ashley said.

She said her son has a mentor and they ride bikes, but C.J.’s bike is really too small and had a flat tire.

Smith, who is a single mother and disabled, said she’s excited that her son is happy.

Tenae Thomas’ daughters, Faith Adams and Taylin Thomas, were just waking up Monday morning when police arrived, but the girls were soon wide awake after realizing they both had bikes for Christmas.

“I’m very happy. I’m happy to see my kids smile. When I see them happy, I’m happy,” Tenae said.

She called the police and car dealership owners/employees generous people.

“It starts with us. If we can’t give back how do we expect others to help,” she said.

Gabriel Adams called the gifts a blessing. She is a single mother to four children — two of whom, Reuben and Natalia, were old enough to receive bikes.

All told, Monday’s event gave away 140 bicycles and 100 teddy bears, said Brenda Wood, the wife of Gerry Wood.

“We are so proud to partner with the police. All we do is buy them and they do the labor. The work is done by the police,” Wood said.

Wood said there’s no way the car dealership could make the connections with the community and deliver the bikes.

It was the first time Rebekah Johansen, 18, volunteered to help distribute. She did so alongside her father, police officer James Johansen.

“My dad invited me. I didn’t know what to expect. I’m excited to spread cheer and give back to the community,” Rebekah said.

Rebekah said she was also excited to share with the children and their families that “police are there to help and not harm.”

One of the youngest volunteers to help distribute bikes on Monday was Aeiden Barnes, the 10-year-old son of Major Shon Barnes.

“He asked about volunteering,” Barnes said.

” I feel good about it,” Aeiden said.

Paola Alfaro, 17, one of the Salisbury Police explorers also volunteered her time alongside her fellow cadets.

“I think it’s a good way to give back to the community,” Alfaro said.

She said it’s a way to help someone in the community who may not have much.

“I’m someone who wants to see everybody happy during the holiday season,” Alfaro said.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.

Comments

East Spencer

East Spencer draws crowd for annual community day

Elections

In Rowan’s legislative races, Howard, Warren get off to strongest start in fundraising

Business

From Navy SEAL to Medicare agent, Trent Waller looks to continue serving his community

Elections

In 13th Congressional District race, Budd, Huffman differ on government’s role in COVID-19 help

Local

Rowan County Telecommunications joins new state digital 911 system

Education

School board will consider scheduling public hearings for Faith, Enochville closures

Business

Biz Roundup: Food Lion makes donation to support racial equality and justice

Elections

Republicans rally supporters at Saturday lunch

Elections

Budd holds wide lead over Huffman in fundraising, cash on hand

BREAKING NEWS

UPDATED: 1 shot, 5 in custody after shooting at haunted house that attracted 1,000 visitors

Nation/World

Trump picks conservative Amy Coney Barrett to fill Supreme Court seat

Coronavirus

Deadly September propels Rowan County to 100 deaths from COVID-19

Crime

Highway Patrol charges man in hit-and-run after finding vehicle hidden in woods

Elections

NC elections board, Republicans at odds over absentee ballot rule changes

News

Voters struggling with witness rules in early voting

News

Trump expected to announce conservative Amy Coney Barrett for Supreme Court

Coronavirus

County reports COVID-19 percent positive rate of 8%

Local

Rowan County United Way sets $1.5 million goal at drive-in kickoff event

Crime

Blotter: Adult daughters accused of beating up mother

China Grove

China Grove firefighters injured after truck overturns

Business

Salisbury VA to reopen entry, exit gates

Crime

Sheriff’s Office looking for suspect in Burlington Coat Factory theft

Elections

Requests for absentee ballots top 9,000 in Rowan

Local

Spencer approves supplemental USDA loan for Park Plaza project