Around 15 volunteers check in more than a thousand kids and family members

Around 15 volunteers check in more than a thousand kids and family members.

Bicycles and Bibles 2015

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Becky Savant has volunteered for Bicycles and Bibles since the event started 17 years ago. Her responsibility? To oversee the check-in of more than 1,000 children in a swift yet orderly fashion.

After staff and security help the families into single-file lines to check in with volunteers, only the child chosen as a recipient and the parent listed are allowed up to the receiving table.

“They come in with their letter that was mailed to them. … The parents have to bring their Social Security card and driver’s license, and we verify that that’s who that person is,” Savant said. “We have a list of all the kids that are receiving the bicycles. We verify the information of the parents — their address, their phone number.”

The volunteers then write the coat size, shoe size of the child, etc. on the certificate that was mailed to them. If everything checks out, the family is sent in to the arena to the score of volunteers lined up to give them a VIP welcome they will never forget.

If a problem arises, the family is sent to Savant’s table, where she looks at each situation carefully and tries to figure out whether the kid is an eligible recipient.

A child must be between the ages of 6-12 and can only be a Bicycles and Bibles recipient one time.

The process takes about two to two and a half hours to check everyone in, Savant said.

To find eligible recipients, volunteers like Linda Griggs are sent to city schools throughout the area to speak to guidance counselors and teachers about who they feel are most in need. Griggs is responsible for helping find 100 recipients in the Vidor area alone, she said. If the 100 isn’t found through the school district itself, Griggs visits area churches to fill the gaps. Griggs said the event has made her holiday special ever since she began volunteering for Bicycles and Bibles in 2010.

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