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Former bike recipient volunteers to provide wheels to those in need

Posted at 1:50 PM, Sep 27, 2022

PHOENIX — Getting to work or the grocery store is something many people take for granted, but for some, getting across town can be difficult without a car or another mode of transportation.

That's why St. Vincent de Paul offers bikes to those who need them most.

Ricky Laswell received a bike from the program, and now he volunteers in the organization's bike shop.

"I'm always eager to learn something new. When I was a kid, I used to strip my bike down about every three months, paint it, re-grease everything, and then put it back together."

Laswell spends his days making sure donated bikes are road ready.

"It's like coming out of a store once we're done with them."

He works alongside Francisco Villegas, the bike shop manager.

Francisco said the event helps them collect about 1,000 to 1,300 bikes.

Every year ABC15 teams up with Earnhardt Auto Dealers and St. Vincent de Paul to fill the shop up with bikes.

Laswell says sometimes it takes him a bit longer to work on the bikes, but he knows it's going to get done right.

"I get to work with my hands, and I like doing that. I know I got arthritis, and it hurts when I do, but I keep going through it because I know it's going to help somebody out."

Laswell spends his time giving back to an organization that has helped him and his brother.

"It gave us a roof over our head, it helped me and my brother to get back on our feet."

Laswell is currently living in a St. Vincent De Paul shelter, the organization giving him the tools to find permanent housing and financial stability.

"I appreciate what they do for us, they treat us like family."

You can donate by clicking here.   

Windsor Smith at KNXV first reported this story.