Folsom Prison may have a notorious reputation, but a lot of good comes from behind the barbed wire fences which doesn’t always get spoken about.
A scheme, which was first introduced in the 1980’s, sees old bikes refurbished and redistributed to children in need. A number of the bikes have been distributed in the last few days, arriving just in time for the summer holidays.
415 bicycles set out for bulky waste collection were donated to Folsom Prison. Inmates refurbish the bikes, then donate to the needy. pic.twitter.com/Aqbad19gju
— City of Folsom (@FolsomCityHall) 23 May 2017
Local newspaper, The Sacramento Bee, told the story of how the programme is run by one inmate; Mauricio Argueta, who spends upwards of 60 hour per week working on the bikes.
“It’s really hard because it’s just me doing it,” Argueta told The Bee. “It’s a little tough, but I love doing this and it’s a good experience.”
Argueta’s efforts have seen over 600 bicycles be delivered to people across the State in the last year alone.
The Sacramento Bee reports:
Some of those kids include Franchesca Copple, 10, and Jewels Copple, 7, who received their new bicycles at Buckeye Elementary School on Wednesday. Their father, Robert Copple, said that he had wanted to purchase bikes for them, but it would have been financially unfeasible.
“I was just excited for the kids,” said Copple, who picked up the bicycles that afternoon. “Francesca had been riding her friend’s bike.”
Last month, Pollock Pines Elementary School and Camino Elementary School received about 25 bicycles each, according to Joe Ryan, who spearheads the program. Louisiana Schnell Elementary School also received about 50 bikes.
“My population is 69 percent socioeconomically disadvantaged,” said Louisiana Schnell Elementary School principal Patrick Paturel. “So most of the bikes do go to kiddos that need one and probably don’t have the resources to get one.”