Greater Grace Temple’s ‘Bicycle Christmas’ Giveway

The New York Times recently ran an article on Detroit’s Greater Grace Temple (“Detroit Churches Pray for ‘God’s Bailout’”.)

Greater Grace, the largest church in Detroit, invited officials from the United Automobile Workers union to speak before Bishop Ellis gave his sermon, titled “A Hybrid Hope.”

“I don’t know what’s going to happen, but we need prayer,” he said. “When it’s all said and done, we’re all in this thing together.”

Bishop Ellis encouraged the congregation to pray, not that Congress would “do the right thing” and approve loaning money to the car companies, but that Detroiters would “make it” through these tough times.

Some bike blogs (here and here) picked up the article, apparently didn’t read it all that well, and wrote that the Church was praying for the Senate bailout.  Or maybe that just made a better story for them.  Piling on Detroit easy these days irregardless of the facts.

Bicycle Christmas

But on a more positive note, Greater Grace Temple has been a major supporter of bicycling in Detroit through their Bicycle Christmas program.

“For many people, one of their fondest childhood memories was to receive a brand new bicycle on Christmas morning,” says GGT’s Senior Pastor Bishop Charles H. Ellis III. “We want to do something to help those youngsters whose families who are hit hard by this economy and could face having little or nothing under the tree on Christmas Day.”

The church will be giving away 250 brand new bicycles to children from financially struggling families on Sunday, December 21, 2008. The giveaway will begin after the 10:00 a.m. service (approx. 12:30 p.m. – 12:45 p.m.). The church partnered with Meijer Stores and Sinai Grace Hospital to make the giveaway possible. Donations also came from church members.

Greater Grace Temple has given away more than 2,800 bikes to financially struggling families over the last 5 years.

Wow!  What a great program and a great cause.

If you are interested in helping or supporting this program, please contact the Greater Grace Temple.

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2 Responses to “Greater Grace Temple’s ‘Bicycle Christmas’ Giveway”

  1. Todd Scott Says:

    Followup report in the Detroit News:
    http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081222/METRO/812220347/1409/METRO

  2. Joshua Duggan Says:

    Grand Rapids has a local offshoot of a national group called Elves and More, which aims to do the same thing. I helped an army of volunteers assemble 1000 bikes in 2 1/2 hours and this past Saturday every child in an entire neighborhood received a bicycle for Christmas.

    http://www.elvesandmorewestmi.org/

    Info on the distribution: http://www.mlive.com/grpress/news/index.ssf/2008/12/elves_bring_cheer_and_free_bik.html

    Blog entry with news video about the assembly: http://www.mibike.org/content/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=113&Itemid=40

    Link to the original group in Houston, which has distributed 78,000 bicycles since it started in 2001: http://www.elvesandmore.org/

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