(TOWNSEND) They have logged thousands of miles in their cars to collect used bicycles from across East Tennessee. It's taken a lot of work to establish Bike Elf.
Here's an update on the non-profit as it celebrates its first birthday.
Children enjoy the bicycles they earned from Bike Elf.
"The giveaways are awesome. It is amazing to see the smiles on kids' faces," Dewayne Wilson said.
Bike Elf collects gently used bikes. Dewayne and Leigh Wilson fix them up in their workshop at their house in Townsend.
"I think kids ought to have a bike," Dewayne said.
Bike Elf partners with the Boys and Girls Club of Blount County to give away the refurbished bikes, but only to children who do something to earn them.
"It's primarily academic stuff or good citizenship stuff at the Boys and Girls Club," he said.
The basic vision for Bike Elf started New Year's Eve, a year ago.
Leigh Wilson recalled, "Dewayne said, You know, I would like to set a goal in 2015 of fixing up 100 bikes."
"I've been surprised, not surprised, but very impressed with the generosity of the people in East Tennessee. We collected 200 and something bikes this year when the goal was a hundred. It was an amazing start," Dewayne said.
Leigh said, "I don't know what I thought it was going to be a year ago but certainly not anywhere near as big as it is today."
In their second year they plan to work smarter. That means tweaking their bike collection process.
"I think we're going to change our model and do more bike drives and try to have people bring their bikes to us," she said.
Their first Bike Elf bike drive of the year is this Saturday, Jan. 9, in Maryville.
"Saturday morning we're going to be at the Boys and Girls Club from 9:00 to noon hoping that kids who got bikes for Christmas will bring us their bikes that they had before rather than just throw it in the garage and let it rust and become unusable. Give it to us. We'll fix it up and give it to some other kid who can ride it," Dewayne said.
They need bikes in fairly good shape. The repairs Bike Elf can do are limited to seats and tires and tubes.
"We're looking for gently used bikes that we can turn around pretty quickly, clean up, and make a bike that looks like new for a kid who has to earn it, because nobody wants to give a kid who earned a bike a crappy bike," he said.
The program has been a motivator for the kids who earn the bikes.
It's been a learning experience for Dewayne and Leigh. One they couldn't even imagine a year ago.
"It has been a fabulous journey," Leigh said.
Drop off gently used bikes from 9:00 to noon Saturday Jan. 9.
The Location: Boys & Girls Club of Blount County, (Old Fort Craig Elementary School), 502 S. Washington St. in Maryville.