HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - Christmas came a little early for kids across the Gulf Coast today after more than 30 bikes were delivered to a Harrison County school.
Students at Pineville Elementary School were surprised with the gifts, which also included a variety of new toys.
The Gulf Coast Bicycle Club, along with local businesses like Academy Sports and Tri Hard Sports, have been gathering the bikes for the last month. So far this year, they've collected more 130 bikes.
On Monday, they delivered some of those bikes to Pineville Elementary, putting big smiles on the students' faces.
Eddie Holmes, the cycling club's president, says others bikes have been donated to Lyman Elementary and some schools in Biloxi. The Harrison County and Stone County sheriff's offices also got some of the bikes, which will be donated to children on the sheriffs' Angel Tree program.
"We have lately decided to tie up with school districts because we felt that way we would make sure the right people, the right children, got those bicycles, "said Holmes.
Pineville's principal, Vivian Bosoorth, says the bikes are also a great way to motivate children to get outdoors and help motivate them to be healthy and fit.
"It's actually promoting a healthy lifestyle," she said. "It's showing them exercise is important, that using their bike to get that exercise is only another way to enjoy the outdoors. So we're very excited about helping with that."
This is the third year that the Gulf Coast Bicycle Club has helped collect and deliver bikes. In that time, they have given more than 300 bikes away.