The gift of a bicycle

Kathleen Galligan/Detroit Free Press

Together, bicycles and the sense of freedom they provide make for great gifts.

In fact, President Barak Obama recently said “his all-time favorite gifts were a 10-speed bicycle… and a basketball.”

The Greater Grace Temple recently gave away 250 bicycles to children and the Free Press has some heartwarming coverage.

Earlier, parents and children heard Bishop Charles Ellis III, pastor of Greater Grace, conclude the service with memories of his first bike.

“Not everybody had their own bike, you know? We’d ride three and four on a bike. Remember that?” Ellis said, drawing laughter.

“A bike is so important to a child. … We thank God that, even in this bad economy, we’re able to bless others,” he said.

As noted in the article, the poor economy meant they were only able to giveaway 250 as opposed to the typical 500. Through the year, the church has given away a few thousands bicycles to Detroit children.

Greater Grace Temple is the same church was wrongly mocked a year ago by some bike advocacy web sites after they prayed for Detroiters’ survival.

When the N.Y. Times reported:

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.

Sites like Copenhagenize then said they were “Praying that the Big Three carmakers will get their money from Washington.” That was apparently the story they wanted to tell.

And unfortunately they probably won’t cover this church’s bicycle giveaway program.

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