‘Elves’ put together bikes to surprise Grand Rapids kids


ADA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — While many West Michiganders spent Saturday checking off the final items on their Christmas shopping lists, some of Santa’s elves in metro Grand Rapids were busy with their own to-do lists.

Volunteers with the nonprofit Elves & More West Michigan assembled more than 1,000 bikes that will serve as surprise gifts for a deserving Grand Rapids neighborhood on Christmas Eve.

More than 300 people joined in the 12th annual bike build day at Amway’s world headquarters, including several members of local companies, organizations and families.

Volunteers with Elves & More West Michigan assemble bicycles for Grand Rapids children. (Dec. 17, 2016)

On Dec. 24, Elves & More West Michigan will work with the Grand Rapids Police Department to deliver 1,400 bikes to an unsuspecting neighborhood.

But hours of hard work getting the bikes ready happens well before the delivery.

“A lot of the people who have been doing this have been helping out since year one and there’s a lot of family involvement, so it’s become a lot of family traditions to help out the weekend before Christmas and deliver these bikes,” media elf Taylor Bracken told 24 Hour News 8. “Everyone has that memory of getting their first bike. And for so many kids in these neighborhoods, they might not have any other presents, so it’s getting something to have on Christmas morning.”

You can learn more about how to volunteer with or donate to Elves & More West Michigan at the organization’s website.

The lucky neighborhood is kept a secret until delivery day. 24 Hour News 8 will be there as hundreds of deserving kids and families receive the heartfelt Christmas surprise.

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