Children from Police Athletic League, Big Brothers Big Sisters surprised with new bike

In the throws of toy giveaways and surprise shopping sprees — one Jacksonville donor didn’t want anyone to know where the funds were coming from to give more than 80 local children their Christmas wish: a new bicycle.

The Harvey Bernhardt Foundation’s bicycle giveaway tradition couldn’t have come at a better time for these families, during a challenging year.

“The way things are right now, it’s been very, very challenging for people, and affording a bike is not easy,” said Westley Bernhardt, chairman of the Harvey Bernhardt Foundation. “So to see a kid’s face light up when they see that bike, and they’ve got that bike, and it’s theirs, it’s a special thing. It really brings Christmas home.”

The foundation works with several community organizations like the local Police Athletic League, Big Brothers Big Sisters, The Carpenter Shop and Jewish Family and Children’s Services, who refer children to the foundation.

An anonymous donor, along with Academy Sports, made the foundation’s annual bike giveaway, this season’s success.

Outside of their holiday surprises, the mission of the Harvey Bernhardt Foundation is to financially help those experiencing medical or natural disasters, crime victims and those dealing with other tragedies.

About the Author:

Joy Purdy co-anchors the 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. newscasts with Tarik Minor and the 11 p.m. weeknight newscasts with Kent Justice.