PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — For almost a decade, a Northeast Philadelphia man and his family have brought joy to hundreds of children, finding new homes for bikes. Ukee Washington has this week’s story of Brotherly Love.
Sophia might be only nine, but she has a steady hand with a paintbrush.READ MORE: Portion Of North Broad Street To Close For Construction During Overnight Hours
“You need to be really careful in case you mess up,” Sophia said.
She and a group of friends are touching up the paint on used bicycles.
“You get to be outside and paint stuff for other people,” Madison Kropilek said.
“We’re painting them for the kids that are less fortunate,” Isabella Ryan said.
These bikes are used, but they still have a lot of life in them. Sophia’s grandfather, Chris Guinan, has made it his mission to get used bikes to new homes.
“Even at 9 years old, that child understands what sometimes I think adults overlook,” Guinan said.READ MORE: Philadelphia Police: 25-Year-Old Man Fatally Struck By Vehicle That Ran Red Light In East Falls
Guinan and his family started nine years ago when he and his adult children worked for SEPTA. He is retired but the family has quietly continued the tradition, sprucing up about 125 bikes every year, to give away to non-profits like Shriners Hospital and Intercultural Family Services.
“It’s a family effort. I really wish it were part of some grandiose plan. it really wasn’t,” Guinan said
In December, Guinan and his family donated their thousandth bike to Congreso de Latinos Unidos.
About two-thirds of the bikes come from SEPTA employees. General manager Leslie Richards is a big fan and even donated her children’s old bikes.
“It’s just a wonderful thing Chris and his family has done and providing much joy, which is much needed these days,” Richards said.
Congressman Brendan Boyle even read a statement of recognition into the U.S. congressional record.
This bikes project doesn’t have a fancy name or an official non-profit. To Guinan, it’s a small gesture to bring happiness to the world.
“There’s a strange sense of guilt. No matter how many we deliver it’s never enough. there’s still one more child out there that is still waiting,” Guinan said.MORE NEWS: WATCH: Country Music Star Jimmie Allen Apologizes To Eagles Fans For Fishing With Cowboys' Dak Prescott
He said he and his family now have a partnership with burns recycling, and might be able to fix up as many as 200 bikes a year.