New Albany girl inspires bike-recycling program for needy kids
Nine-year-old Sophia MacDonald of New Albany, flanked by her father, Mac (left), and Geoff Clark, owner of VeloScience Bike Works in New Albany, sits on a refurbished bicycle that will be donated to a needy child through Sophia's ReCycle Bike Gifting Program. She provided the impetus for program at the bike shop after she asked father how to refurbish her old bicycle and give it as a gift. Buy This Photo
When 9-year-old Sophia MacDonald of New Albany got a bicycle in December for her birthday, she wanted her old bike to be refurbished and given as a gift to a child in need.
"I've been watching a lot of (television) shows where they help people and I wanted to do one of those things," Sophia said.
She asked her father, Mac, to help and he referred her to Geoff Clark, owner of VeloScience Bike Works.
"I want to help other kids because I am thankful that I got a bike for my birthday and other kids didn't get any of those things," Sophia said.
Clark said he is helping to collect used bicycles and refurbish each one.
He said Sophia provided the idea, which has developed into Sophia's ReCycle Bike Gifting Program.
"We're not just doing this for the holidays; we want to continue to do this year-round," Clark said.
By the week leading up to Christmas, Clark had received seven bicycles to refurbish and "a small cash donation to help with replacement parts."
He was expecting more bicycles to be donated that week.
Mr. MacDonald said Sophia might have gotten the idea from an episode of 60 Minutes, which featured a young adult who had built houses and schools in other countries since age 10.
Mr. MacDonald said Sophia and Clark are working with school districts in central Ohio to determine the best way to locate children in need of bicycles.
Officials at Parsons Elementary School in Columbus have agreed to help find students to receive the bicycles. Principal Candace Nespeca said she is working with the two to help get bicycles to needy children.
Anyone interested in donating a bicycle can contact Clark at 614-855-9590 or visit velosciencebikeworks.com for more information.