Christmas came early on Friday for 50 Austin area kids. It came in the form of a brand new bike.
Every bike came with a smile. And as names were called out anticipation became exhilaration. A total of 50 children received bikes at St. Mary's Church. It didn't take long for wheels to start spinning as the kids took test rides.
"The best day,” said a little boy who got one of the trail bikes.
The children were signed up by members of the U.S. Hispanic Contractor's Association.
"For the last 10 years we've been doing this, when they succeed in the community it's the right thing to give back to the community, you just can’t take away from the community you have to give back to the community,” said Association chairman Frank Fuentes.
The 50 bikes, purchased by the association's membership, are the last of 550 they've provided this season. Several Austin police officers were on hand to help deliver the early Christmas presents.
"There is absolutely no substitute when you see the joy in a child's eyes in a child's face in the way the act the joyfulness of not only receiving that gift but knowing that they are loved,” said Fuentes.
A gift, not just for the children, but also their parents.
"It helped out a lot, it takes one less item and actually helps financially as well. it’s really good, that we came come out here and make them happy,” said Joe Gonzales.
This day certainly is pretty big, but it’s not just about driving off with a truck load of bikes. It’s about building relationships.
"This is what it’s all about,” said Austin interim police chief Brian Manley.
Each embrace, according Manley, is more than a photo-op.
"We are called police officers, but we are really peace officers and this is an opportunity for the youngest in our community to see us in a role they might not ordinarily see us in. They get to see the true hearts of the men and women of the Austin Police Department here today, because this is what we are all about,” said Chief Manley.
One child, one bike and one smile at a time.