More than 100 bikes annually are collected by the Gardner Police Department. Here, Officer Lynn Atchison, a 24 year veteran of the department, returns from Lansing Correctional Facility where inmates repair the bicycles, and they are provided as gifts to area families. The program has been ongoing since the 90’s. Photo courtesy of the Gardner Police Department

Officer Lynn Atchison travels to Lansing several times each year to drop off bikes that have been donated or recovered and not claimed.
Bikes donated to the Gardner Police Department are “recycled” at Lansing Correctional Facility and given to youth during the holidays. These bicycles are repaired by inmates at the facility.
Atchison, a 24 year veteran of the department, said about 100 bicycles are donated each year.
The bicycle program was created in the late 90’s or early 2000’s by a motorcycle organization which James Moore, GPD captain, was a part of. When that group ceased, Moore continued the program with Atchison assisting. Atchison took over the program when Moore retired a few years ago.
“I enjoy doing this for multiple reasons but mainly it’s to give children that may not have the opportunity to have a bicycle to get one for Christmas,” Atchison said.
Recently Atchison brought back about 40 bicycles from Lansing to be distributed to kids who may never have a bicycle.
The GPD participates each year in the Christmas for Children program. Applications are available at Gardner City Hall, and the Gardner Multi Service Center for people to apply to receive a bicycle for a child in need.
“I think this program is very productive in giving back to the community and it helps make for a better Christmas for some of our children in our community,” said Lt. Jay Belcher, GPD.
The GPD accepts bicycle donations all year during business hours, or call 913-856-7312 and ask for an officer to contact you to set up a time to drop bikes off.