Savannah International Longshoremen give away bikes

ILA 1414

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - The International Longshoremen’s Association Local 1414 gave away more than 200 bikes to the community on Saturday.

Union members purchased and collected 285 bikes for this year’s holiday bike giveaway. Phillip Bell, the business agent for ILA Local 1414, said members have never had a giveaway this large.

"It is a huge giveaway, more than it was last year," he said. "Our goal was to double what we had last year, and we tripled what we had last year. I was a big accomplishment from the ILA 1414 members. It means someone, some child will have a good Christmas."

230 people, including 10-year-old Khamarah Chisholm, lined up Saturday morning with tickets in hand to select a new bike.

"I'm excited because I like riding bikes," she said standing next to her new hot pink and white bike with silver streamers on the handles. "I have a bike, but the handlebars popped off, so I needed another bike. I liked this one."

The fourth grader said she planned to cruise through her neighborhood as soon as she got home.

"You get to ride fast," she said. "I like riding fast. I like riding around the block."

Bell said ILA Local 1414 has always had a community focus but being able to give back on this scale is overwhelming.

“Everything comes from the members of ILA 1414,” Bell said. “As one of the biggest organizations in this community, we do this all the time, so to continue to do so is a plus for us. We’re blessed to be blessed.”

Bell also thanked the Walmart on Montgomery Cross Road, the Walmart in Hazelhurst and Sunny Side Up restaurant for their donations to the giveaway.

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