Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Bicycle giveaway at Seminole shop makes five youngsters smile

PORT RICHEY

Jordine Hoffman came to her job counselor at Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services of Florida, Inc. with a Christmas wish:

Help me get my son a bicycle.

Hoffman has been out of work for about a year, ever since the woman who hired her to watch her kids got laid off herself. The money isn't there for the eye-popping gift Hoffman wanted to give her 9-year-old son, Jordan.

"So I was on a mission," said Jennifer Hess, who helps deaf and hearing impaired clients with their job searches.

Hess punched "free bikes for kids" into an Internet search engine and arrived at the Web site of Clearwater attorney James W. Dodson, who was cosponsoring a bike giveaway for five deserving kids. Hess nominated Jordan, a good kid who gets solid grades and is bilingual, since he communicates with his mother using sign language.

A few weeks later, Dodson called Hess with an exciting announcement: Jordan was getting a bike. And could Hess suggest four more kids?

No one else, it seems, had even applied.

Hess added Jordan's 4-year-old sister, Summer; and 10-year-old Camilia Hernandez, the daughter of another hearing impaired client, to the list. A friend who works with a single-parents' support group at Calvary Chapel Worship Center suggested two more: 8-year-old Ariel Derouin and 11-year-old Austin Hartner.

Four of the kids arrived with their parents Thursday afternoon at Bicycle Outfitters in Seminole, which cosponsored the giveaway, to get their new wheels:

Pink bikes with white tires for the girls. Black BMX Mirraco bikes for the boys.

The kids cheered. The adults cried.

"We love doing this kind of stuff," said Nicole Clarke, a bicycle consultant at the shop.

After getting their free helmets and safety tips, the kids headed to a trail behind the store to break in their new bikes. (Austin couldn't make it Thursday and will get his bike another day.)

How did it feel to see Jordan get his bike?

"It was awesome," his mother said through a sign language interpreter.

Hoffman turned to everyone at the bicycle store and said "thank you" with her hands and mouth. The organizers of the giveaway, who learned the signs for "thank you" and "you're welcome" by watching the afternoon's exchanges, returned the sign.

Bicycle giveaway at Seminole shop makes five youngsters smile 12/17/09 [Last modified: Thursday, December 17, 2009 9:10pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Police: Uber driver's gun discharges during fight at Adventure Island in Tampa

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — An Uber driver's gun went off Sunday at Adventure Island during a fight between the driver and two passengers.

  2. Baker cautious on Pride politics

    Elections

    Rick and Joyce Baker strode down Central Avenue Sunday amid rainbow flags, corporate booths, and blaring music of the St. Pete Pride Festival.

    St. Petersburg mayoral candidate Rick Baker chats Sunday with people at the St. Pete Pride Festival. As mayor, Baker did not sign a Pride parade proclamation, but now he says he would.
  3. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Rays closer Alex Colome, coming in with the score tied in the ninth, allows three runs in his second straight poor outing.
  4. Lightning among early suitors for defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said he planned to explore free agency for potential needs, which include bolstering his blue line and adding a wing or two.

    Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who can be a free agent Saturday, counts the Lightning among his early suitors.
  5. Senate leaders try to appease members as support for health bill slips

    National

    WASHINGTON — Senate Republican leaders scrambled Sunday to rally support for their health care bill, even as opposition continued to build outside Congress and two Republican senators questioned whether the bill would be approved this week.

    Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill on Thursday, is one of the five Republican senators who announced they cannot support the health care bill as drafted.