Children throughout Tuscaloosa and parts of West Alabama will wake up to a bike Christmas morning, thanks to a donation drive held by a West Tuscaloosa church.

David Gay, the pastor of Beulah Baptist Church in West Tuscaloosa, said the bicycle giveaway is a part of the church's large annual community drive that is done during the month of December for the holidays.

"Once a year, we do a big signature event," Gay said. "We are the type of church that's open seven days a week, where we are feeding people, housing and clothing people and just tending to the needs of people in the community. During this signature event, we give out brand new bikes to underprivileged kids in the community for Christmas."

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Gay said this year's event exceeded last year's drive and the church was able to double the number of families and community partners who could receive a bike.

"Last year, we did a little over 100 bikes, but this year, we were able to collect over 200 bikes for the kids in our community," Gay said.

The bike drive's success was due to donations from community partners near and far, including corporate sponsors and donors from Birmingham.

"We have a lot of community sponsors," Gay said. "This year, we got more corporate sponsors than we've ever had. Many people saw the need for them and wanted to support by sowing seeds into our ministry and they did so."

The bikes will be donated to families in West Tuscaloosa, as well as to community organizations that will distribute bikes to those in need, including Temporary Emergency Services, Tuscaloosa One Place, Greene County DHR, Martin L. King, Jr. Elementary School, organizations in rural West Alabama and members of Beulah Baptist.

Gay said around 12 community organizations will benefit from the drive.

Pastor Gay said he knows how special a child would feel to receive a bike on Christmas morning and was excited to make Christmas special for children in need.

"Growing up, and even today, kids get all kinds of games and sports gear, but there's nothing like waking up on Christmas morning to a brand new bike," Gay said. "When I was a kid, there were times when we couldn't even afford one, but the years that we could, there was nothing like getting a bike. We just wanted to give back and make the kids' Christmas morning bright."

Gay said he thanks the Tuscaloosa community, every corporate sponsor and members of Beulah Baptist Church for making the event happen. Bikes will continue to be distributed until the end of the week and bikes leftover will be donated to additional families in need.

Stay connected with the Tuscaloosa Thread for updates on additional holiday stories happening in and around the Druid City.

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