In 2012, DeMotte resident Jennifer Geiselman began repurposing donated bicycles, and her charitable work, Bikes for Kids, is beginning to catch the attention of her community.
“I had a bike drive last year at the DeMotte Fire Station, where I received about 30 bikes. Some of the helmets are donated, or I buy them,” she said.
“The bikes are given to anyone in need, whether it is an adult that needs a bike to go to work or a child that does not have one.”
An avid bicyclist herself, Geiselman was thrilled when Trek Bicycle Store in Schererville offered her a full day of bicycle repair training.
“Anytime I have questions or problems with bikes, I can call or email them for assistance. They have been very helpful and supportive,” she said.
“Some bikes just need a little cleaning and minor brake adjustments. Some need new tubes and tires.
"If the chain and sprockets are rusted out, I will take any useable parts from the bike and scrap the rest.”
A proper workshop was also provided for Geiselman by R&R American U-Lock in DeMotte, which donated two storage units recently to house the bikes.
“I’ve donated seven bikes so far. My goal was to give at least five away by last Christmas,” she said.
A 1984 Indiana University Northwest graduate, Geiselman has worked for 15 years as a computer technician for the Kankakee Valley School Corporation in Wheatfield.
She has coached middle school cross country and track for 10 years, and recently became a swim coach.
“I enjoy seeing the kids reaching new goals and developing new skills that they never thought they could ever achieve,” she said.
A member of Faith Lutheran Church in DeMotte and a mother of two, Geiselman enjoys sports, gardening and hiking.
More information on her bicycle project can be found at facebook.com/BikesForKidsNorthwestIndiana.