PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Hundreds of local kids will have a big surprise under the tree on Christmas morning.

They will be getting brand new bikes thanks to the generosity of strangers.

Al Todd, of Allison Park, came up with the idea of collecting money to buy bikes for kids about six years ago after attending a Toys for Tots luncheon.

“I was a big bike rider growing up, so I thought we’ll step in and do something. Ii went to my company, Thrivent Financial, and they actually gave me some money and matched the money I raised,” Todd said.

There were 33 bikes to hand out that first year and the event has obviously grown.

This year they’ll be handing out about 300 bikes, which is a 50 percent increase from last year.

“Today is just shy of Christmas morning to me. I’m very excited, anxious making sure everything goes okay. Thankfully the weather held out for us today, but to see all my family and friends and coworkers here, its tremendous,” Todd said.

Toys R Us had a big part in this too. If you’ve ever had to put a bike together, you know it can take some time. Employees have been working on putting all of the bikes together since August.

From the parking lot of Toys R Us on McKnight Road, volunteers loaded up the bikes and drove them to Station Square.

There, they were handed over to two local Marine groups for their Toys for Tots campaign.

“I just wish that I had the opportunity to see their faces when they receive the bike,” Al Duss said.

“I’m just a guy really with an e-mail address and a lot of great friends and I truly appreciate the support. We got over $20,000 raised in about two-and-a-half weeks,” Todd said.


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