Holland group distributes bikes to kids unable to walk
Updated: Thursday, January 17 2013, 12:44 PM EST
HOLLAND, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - More than 23 million people across the world lack the ability to walk--and 10 percent of them are kids.
For years, a group in Holland has been giving back to those in need, allowing many confined to their beds to move on their own for the first time.
The tiny bikes--known as Personal Energy Transportation, or PETs--are packed up in a Holland plant, and shipped all over the world.
The company, run on around 90 volunteers, was founded decades ago by a South Haven missionary who watched children bed ridden or forced to crawl in third world countries.
Now, more than 1,400 PETs have come out of Holland, spawning four more West Michigan facilities.
Each $250 bike is funded by donations.
Volunteer Dale Dykema will travel to Vietnam on Thursday to help deliver 140 PETs to kids in need.
"We have so much in this country, my son just got a new wheelchair, like $15,000 worth of wheelchair, but that's no more important to him than a PET is to a child, because they have nothing without it," Dykema said.
It's the thrill of a child's smile that keeps him and others hard at work in Holland.
They say they could never accomplish this task without years of generosity from the West Michigan community.
For more information, including ways you can volunteer or donate, click here.