Bicycle Ministry seeks donations

Published 9:36 pm Saturday, October 31, 2009

GATES, N.C. — With Christmas just around the corner, it breaks Jacklyn Phillips’ heart to see a child do without.

Phillips, who has made her mark on the local community and around the world with her Bicycle Ministry, is soliciting donations from the public in an effort to continue the tradition.

Those wanting to make a donation should contact Phillips at 252-357-2295.

Through the years, the Bicycle Ministry has repaired used bicycles and donated them to local children as well as youngsters in Zambia, Nicaragua and Cambodia. A few of the bikes have been sent to missionaries in Zambia. According to Phillips, they come in handy when a missionary is visiting AIDS victims who may be located five or six miles away. Not only do the bikes provide transportation for the missionaries, but they could potentially save a life, as well.

“Before our first bicycles arrived, the missionaries would have to pick-up a sick child in their arms and walk them to the nearest medical facility,” Phillips said. “The bicycles helped to transport those children.”

A few years ago, Phillips tackled a “four-wheel” project. She secured a used ambulance, donated by Bertie Ambulance Service, and had it shipped overseas, with the assistance of the World Vision organization, to aid the missionaries in their work with AIDS patients.

Phillips began her ministry more than 10 years ago, after hearing the story of a Virginia man who worked two jobs to buy his children bicycles, only to have them stolen. At that point, Phillips decided to start an organization to provide bikes to needy children.

Phillips estimates that nearly 2,000 bicycles have been sent (with the help of organizations like World Vision and The Angel Tree) from the Bicycle Ministry to children around the world, as well as those in the Roanoke-Chowan area and southside Virginia.