Parker Hannifin Employees Donate 407 Bicycles to Toys For Tots
Annual collection was double last year's donation.
Employees at Parker Hannifin Corporation's headquarters in Mayfield Heights loaded 407 bicycles into two FedEx trucks Thursday for delivery through the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program.
The bicycles will be distributed to chlidren in Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain and Summit counties.
U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Tim Sherman, a Toys for Tots local coordinator, was impressed by the volume of the donation.
"I was overwhelmed with the number of bikes you said we'd receive," he said at the donation presentation in the lobby of the Parker Hannifin building.
Terry Koch, Parker Hannifin enterprise systems manager, said there was an aroma of rubber from the bikes that lined the hallways since they were delivered last Friday.
"You walked through these halls the past couple of days and you were amazed," he said.
In the past six years, employees from Parker Hannifin and Oswald Companies of Cleveland, an independent insurance brokerage firm, have combined to donate 1,731 bicycles to Toys for Tots.
Although they donate some other toys as well, Koch said they decided to focus on bicycles because of the impact they have on children's lives.
"It's more than just the fun of a bicycle," Koch said. "Every kid should have a bicycle. A bicycle gives a kid so much freedom. That's one thing that we just got behind."
Also assisting in this year's donation were 110 volunteers from Parker Hannifin, Oswald Companies, the Boy Scouts and Cleveland Touring Club who assembled 380 bicycles last Saturday.
"One hundred ten people assembled all 380 bikes in two hours," Koch said.
A few more bikes were donated earlier this week, prompting Koch to challenge employees to reach 400. A $700 donation received on Wednesday paid for more bicycles to reach the final total of 407.