WILMINGTON — Thirty-nine Clinton County foster children will be surprised on Christmas morning with brand new, shiny bicycles, helmets and locks.
For the fourth consecutive year, Bike Lady, Inc. has included Clinton County in its program. This program donates these items to foster children across the state. What started with one woman in Franklin County has grown to providing over 1,600 new bikes to foster children in 44 counties.
Funded entirely through donation, these bikes are assembled by inmates in various prisons throughout Ohio.
Founder Kate Koch, a former Franklin County Children Services foster parent, adopted both of her children from FCCS. She bought a “few” (26) bikes in 2008 for the FCCS Holiday Wish toy drive to say thank you for her uniquely and wonderfully made family. Word-of-mouth channeled more bikes to FCCS, so three months later Kate founded Bike Lady, Inc.
From 2008 to 2015, Bike Lady raised nearly $500,000 to provide 6,477 Ohio foster children a new bike, helmet and lock across 33 different Ohio counties.
Outside of Bike Lady, Kate works full-time as a business development consultant in the IT/broadcast industry, and is a single mother. She believes in the power of a bike to change young lives for the better – especially at Christmas. She became a cyclist herself in 2013.
The Bike Lady mission is: To enrich the daily life experience and expand opportunities of Ohio at-risk youth by providing new bikes, helmets and locks to children who have a history of abuse, neglect and abandonment, and are served by county child protective services (foster care placement); and, to provide Ohio inmate offenders a chance to give back through volunteer bike assembly community service.
Bike Lady is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and 100-percent all-volunteer, with no salaries and minimal overhead. For more information, visit www.bikelady.org.