Fayetteville, N.C. — For the first time in 30 years, an annual Christmas bicycle giveaway has been postponed due to coronavirus.
The event, made possible by the Bicycle Man Foundation, delivers new and used bicycles to children whose families wouldn’t be able to provide them.
The news will disappoint hundreds of children in Cumberland County who would otherwise have a bike under their tree Christmas morning.
Each year, the bicycles are donated to the Bicycle Man Foundation. Some are new, but most are used and require some repairs before the big December giveaway, when families visit the Fayetteville warehouse to pick out their bikes.
Organizers said children usually get to touch several bicycles before making their choice, but due to coronavirus, those bikes would have to be cleaned before the next child could make a selection.
Ann Mathis from the Bicycle Man Foundation said the decision to postpone the giveaway was based on the recommendations of the local health department and Gov. Roy Cooper’s order to limit indoor gatherings to just 10 people.
“When you talk about 10 people — bringing 10 people in here at a time — it’s just a lot,” Mathis said. “And I will not feel comfortable doing that. I don’t want to give a child a bike today and next week somebody in their family has COVID.”
In the meantime, Bicycle Man volunteers will continue to fix bikes and accept donations from the community. Organizers hope the bikes can be given away sometime in April instead.