MN Man’s Charity Donating Bikes to Kids Featured by Kelly & Ryan
I just finished reading a book by Minnesota author Terry Esau.
Titled Surprise Me: A 30-Day Faith Experiment, the book is essentially Esau's journal as -- over the course of 30 days -- he began each day by asking God to surprise him. Some days were dreadfully boring and routine -- dropping his daughter off at soccer practice, working on projects for clients, taking his dog for a walk. Some days, however, were filled with surprise interactions and situations. I'll let you read the book for yourself to learn more.
Esau's a pretty fascinating guy (full disclosure -- he's also a distant relative on my wife's side, married to my father-in-law's cousin). You'll find him on a list of 10 Cool Guinness World Records Set in Minnesota or By Minnesotans after his charity Free Bikes 4 Kids collected more than 5,510 bikes at the Mall of America back in 2015 to be donated to kids in need. More recently, Esau and a couple partners started another nonprofit based on the same concept called Free Guitars 4 Kids.
On Tuesday, Esau and his nonprofit Free Bikes 4 Kids were featured as the Good News Story on Live with Kelly and Ryan.
"I have been invited to be on Live with Kelly Ripa & Ryan Seacrest this morning, telling the story of Free Bikes 4 Kidz," he shared on Facebook. "We will be the 'Good News Story of the Day!' For the kids who receive our bikes, we’re a good news story every day!"
Chatting with Kelly Ripa and her husband Mark Consuelos (who was filling in for Ryan Seacrest on vacation), Esau shared how he helped start Free Bikes 4 Kids and how it quickly grew into the nonprofit that it is today.
"I've always been a bike guy...I just saw all these garages filled with little kids bikes collecting dust. Kids have outgrown them. So me and my buddy said, 'hey, let's collect some bikes this December and fix them up and give them to kids in need. We did 250 bikes."
The next year, they collected 750 bicycles; the following year was 1,500. To date, Free Bikes 4 Kids is in 15 cities around the country and has collected over 100,000 bikes for kids. Esau's goal is to be in 100 cities by 2025 and to give away one million bikes.
"We want to help you out, Terry," Ripa tells Esau in Tuesday's interview, "because you have inspired us with your dedication to your cause. So...we have partnered with Honey Bunches of Oats, and we're going to give you $10,000 to help get some more kids a bunch of bikes!"