For many years, a man named Andrew McLindon has been working to give children with disabilities the chance to have fun by giving them adaptive bikes thanks to the McLindon Family Foundation in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
“It’s just beautiful,” he recently told BRProud.com.
“I mean a lot of times the children, it’s been kept a surprise and they get a bike and their reactions, you know, one little boy said, ‘A bike for me, a bike for me,’ he couldn’t believe that someone was going to buy him a bike,” he continued.
The special bikes can cost thousands, which is not an option for some families. But according to McLindon, the joy of informing families they will receive the gift can be overwhelming.
He spoke of a call he had with a mother when he told her the organization was going to provide her child with a set of wheels.
“‘I’m going to buy this bike for you and we will have it to you in three weeks,’ and the phone when silent for two minutes… and she came back and she was weeping,” he recalled, adding he hung up and began screaming, “‘Yes, yes!’ I was just celebrating so much because that’s what we live for.”
The McLindon Family Foundation’s mission is to give adaptive bikes to children with special needs so they are able to build core strength, increase confidence, and nurture friendships, the group’s website says.
In a social media post on Tuesday, the foundation shared a photo of a child in Georgia enjoying her purple bike:
Meet Jahnize from Georgia! Her bike arrived just in time for Christmas and Jahnize’s birthday!
Another photo showed a young man named Chandler from Texas, who also received his Christmas wish:
Chandler from Texas got his Christmas wish! This sweet family photo, warms our hearts. Enjoy your bike and Merry Christmas!#AdaptiveBike #ChristmasWish #Christmas #Bike #Texas #McLindonFamilyFoundation
Prior to having a bike, the children would watch their siblings and neighbors riding their own, but “now they were part of that, so you can imagine emotionally and psychologically the difference between that,” McLindon noted.
The foundation has made a significant impact in the lives of more than 400 children, and it hopes to keep going.