Bikes For Christ was started in 2016 with a commitment to helping those in need while also sharing the love of God. Our organization has quickly grown to encompass providing transportation across Hillsborough, Pinellas, Polk and Pasco Counties with a mission to one day be nationwide. By showing God’s love through providing bicycles for those in need, we hope to lead them to a life in His eternal kingdom.
For several years Patrick (Pat) Simmons was trying to figure out how he could combine his passion for cycling with a cause that could really make a difference in people’s lives. At the time he couldn’t seem to come up with something that really had purpose, but all that changed after a trip with his church, First Baptist Dover, to Nicaragua in June 2015. He got to see poverty up close and personal and what it was like to live with very little.
After he returned, he decided to get involved with his church in helping feed the homeless once a month at Amazing Love Ministries in Ybor City. Pat enjoyed it so much that he started going every week to help feed. He then got involved with a few other organizations that helped feed the homeless and needy and it was at this point he knew that he could do more. There was a real need for transportation for those who were really trying to better themselves and Pat knew he could help.
Bikes for Christ was born in March 2016. With just some simple postings on Facebook and Craigslist seeking used bicycles, donations started pouring in. Currently Bikes For Christ receives donations from across four counties and redistributes them through other charitable organizations who work directly with clients and are able to “vet them out” to determine who really has a need. The organization has also expanded to help veterans and seniors with their commutes. Children are also a priority. As Pat states “every kid deserves a bike.”
The most important part in all of this is that those who receive bikes know that someone loves and cares for them. “Through giving we show love, and it’s the same love and compassion that Jesus showed us” Pat says. With every bicycle, a Bible goes along with it. “It’s the handbook that gets us through this life and into heaven to spend with God for all eternity.”