Prison Bikes

By: Jason Davis
By: Jason Davis

They may not have made the best of their time in society, but a group of Holmes Correctional Institution inmates at trying to make a positive impact on society from prison.

It's not the North Pole or Santa's workshop, but lots of children will be smiling this Christmas because of the work that's going on at the Holmes Correctional Institution.

Charles Shumaker, am HCI vocational teacher, says, "These kids don't have anything. They go through an application process. They have very little, so they get a big ticket item like a bicycle at Christmas. They feel like someone cares about them."

The inmates with carpentry skills get to show off there ability to make toys.

Colnel Felicia Nobles with Holmes County Corrections says, "They enjoy making the toys for the children. We have approximately 150 toys for the children that are sent to the fire department and they are given to the needy children in the local area."

Others have spent the year restoring over 100 bicycles.

"We take donated bikes from just about everyone; Bonifay Fire Department collects them. We take them and refurbish them every nut and bolt, sand blast cleaned, paint clean and anything you can imagine doing to them.”

When the bikes are brought to the drop-off point at the Bonifay Fire Department, most them are in need of a makeover. When the bikes are restored, they'll be new to their recipients.

"They actually let them pick the bike they want. They line them up like this at the fire department and let the kids go in there and pick the bike they like."

Another Christmas is special for hundreds of kids.

Local businesses in Bonifay, Chipley, and Marianna donate most of the supplies for the bike restoration and toy construction.


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