Toledo inmates help give the gift of transportation to local foster children
Prisoner Charles Hamilton is assembling bikes for his second and last time. He will be released in nine months.
TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) -
On Christmas, 100 children in foster care at Lucas County Children Services will get the gift of transportation. And the brand news bikes are being assembled by some unlikely elves—prisoners at the Toledo Correctional Institution.
For prisoner Charles Hamilton, this will be the last time he’ll assemble bikes as an inmate.
“I only have nine months until I go home, and I just wanted to be a part of this one last time before I go back to the community,” said Hamilton. “Volunteering, showing that guys who [are] incarcerated can come home.”
The bikes being assembled aren’t just cool Christmas presents but a lifeline. Teens in foster care are not allowed to get a driver’s license, so the bikes provide the transportation many need to get a job.
“Pretty much the first license they are going to come close to,” said inmate Anthony Wheatley. “I’m studying the book myself before I come home. I never had a license.”
Wheatley won’t be home for some time. He’s scheduled to remain behind bars until 2019.
"Even though I'm in here, I get to spend Christmas, for the past three years, doing this, and this is better than me getting a gift. This is me giving back,” said Wheatley.
All the bikes will be delivered to children’s front doors before Christmas. They were all donated by a non-profit in Columbus called Bike Lady, Inc.