TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– Hundreds of Rose-Hulman students filled the Sports and Recreation center Sunday, assembling over 250 bikes to support the community.

It was a part of the “Bikes for Tykes” event put on by Chances and Services for Youth. He said he was excited for the holiday tradition to make its return.

“Bikes for Tykes is now in its 24th year. The exchange club started this and we took it over a few years ago,” he said. “We’ve distributed thousands of bikes over the years to kids in the Wabash Valley. It’s really such a great opportunity, and we’re proud to partner with so many folks in the area.”

Some of the partners include schools around Vigo County, and community centers as well. CASY works alongside those organizations to help distribute the bikes. 

The students came as volunteers to help build the bikes. They worked in groups, building and inspecting the bikes to make sure they were good to go before putting them out for pickup. 

Sophomore Natalie Olic said she was happy to be a part of the event. 

“It’s easier to get out of bed in the morning when you’re helping out other people,” she said. “It feels really good, I would’ve just been sleeping otherwise, so knowing that I’m helping out other people, it takes so little of my time, and I know how much joy I get from riding bikes.”

Halleck said the organization spent around $23,000 on the bikes in total, and is still accepting donations to help cover the costs. 

He said his favorite part of the event was thinking about the kids it helps provide for. 

“When you think about, everyone remembers the first bike they got, and that’s what we’re trying to do, just help brighten the lives of some of our kids in the Wabash Valley,” he said.