BATTLE CREEK– Battle Creek residents should keep an eye out for over 80 kids riding through the streets on their brand new bicycles, thanks to city activist Bobby Holley.
Kids across the nation have become more acquainted with being indoors than in past years due to COVID-19 and the state’s mandatory orders in regards to staying indoors and staying safe. For Battle Creek social justice activist Bobby Holley that needed to change.
On July 1, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer made an executive order to lift mask mandates and allow social gatherings to start up again throughout the state. This would come just after the beginning of summer for most Michigan kids. A summer that Holley said kids needed to be outside participating in.
“These kids, man, they’ve been inside for months. No summer camps, no field trips or nothing. And because of COVID a lot of families weren’t even able to take their kids to do things. I knew I had to do something,” said Holley.
That something would turn into a bicycle giveaway for second through sixth graders within the Battle Creek school district who submitted essays on “Why Do I Need a Bike.” Holley was able to afford some of the first bikes through can and bottle donations and began to give away bikes as he collected them throughout the summer. Community members and businesses began to donate funds as well, after catching wind of Holley’s efforts. Holley continued collecting donations on his own through his street performances. The funds were able to purchase over 80 bikes from early May until Aug. 7.
Another Battle Creek resident, Kathy Edwards, who was able to catch one of Holley’s roadside performances, for donations said she was amazed with the activist and what he was doing for the community.
“What a wonderful human being, raising money for bicycles for kids in the community. I’m really thankful for all that he does for the community.”