When the convoy rolled into an Akron, Ohio, neighborhood on Sunday, no one knew what to expect. All the children gathered there received a brand-new bike for Christmas. For some, it was their first ride ever.
The bike donation was made possible by Joe Caliri and Tim House. The two have been best friends since childhood. House said, “There's plenty of people that I went to grade school with who were maybe on assistance or their parents were doing everything just to keep a roof over their head. I'm sure they didn't get much at Christmastime."
So in 2006, they started Elves & More. The organization raises money year-round to buy bicycles, and then the
group works with local law enforcement to identify an area where the bikes are
Joe Caliri was raised in a house in Akron by a single mother. Caliri said, “I feel like this is part of my journey. This is what I'm supposed to do. You're supposed to
help the one behind you.”
House recalled, “The first year that we gave bikes away we went to an area that was close to Joe's neighborhood, and he called me that night and said, ‘I want to thank you because you let me bring bikes back to the old neighborhood, and I wouldn't have been able to do that without you’.”
This year, the group gave out 1,300 bikes, giving every receiving child a chance for a Merry Christmas.