An escaped teen’s story inspires Bikes for Kids

A bicycle is more than two wheels and handlebars. To a child, it can mean freedom and adventure.

In response to May’s tragic headline of a 13-year-old girl escaping captivity in a North Toledo basement, a local program, Bikes for Kids, is helping ensure a sense of freedom for other area youths.

With the hope of giving the brave 13-year-old a new spin on a life, the program will begin by giving the unnamed girl a bike, and then give away one bike each week during the months of June-August to select local teenagers.

Biking for freedom

“The goal of Bikes for Kids is to recognize the kindness, compassion, and resilience of Toledo’s kids, especially this year, in light of the bravery of the girl from Noble Street,” says Chuck Boyk, owner of Charles E. Boyk Law Offices, the pioneer behind the program that started in 2009. “We hope this program helps kids focus on the fact they can do anything they set their minds to— even saving their siblings from a tragic situation.”

On behalf of the unnamed girl and her two siblings, Lucas County Children Services (LCCS) will accept Bikes for Kids’ donation of three bikes at Wersell’s Bike & Ski Shop on June 7 at 3pm.

Along with each bike giveaway, Wersell’s is donating a helmet and lock to each winner. There are no specific guidelines on what makes a nominee deserving of a new bike, but Bikes for Kids encourages nominators to think about how the child has positively impacted his or her family, friends, community or classroom.

In addition to donating trucks to transport all of the bike this summer, Maumee Valley Movers donated two extra bicycles so that the girl’s siblings would not be excluded. It is believed that these bikes may be the first the siblings have ever owned and together they are living under the care of LCCS.    

For those who would either like to donate a bike, or nominate a kid who deserves a bike, visit

3pm Tuesday, June 7.
Wersell’s Bike & Ski Shop, 2860 W. Central Ave. | 419-474-7412 |