Acts of Kindness
Caring retiree brings joy to special-needs children by building them customized bikes for free
The bikes are expensive to make, but he pays for everything using his own money and has improved the lives of more than 430 children so far.
Luis Gaskell
12.01.21

Every kid wants a bike. I sure did, and you probably did as well. It might take a while before you can go without training wheels, but the payoff is always it.

But what about kids who can’t ride bikes even if they wanted to?

Indeed, there are plenty of kids with medical conditions who aren’t able to enjoy the thrill of a bike.

YouTube screenshot - Inside Edition
Source:
YouTube screenshot - Inside Edition

Take four-year-old Kaya Roach here, for example.

She’s already got way more on her plate than any of us did at her age. Kaya has cerebral palsy and epilepsy. She is also unable to walk.

But she never lets it get her spirits down.

YouTube screenshot - Inside Edition
Source:
YouTube screenshot - Inside Edition

While most kids her age can run and jump, Kaya crawls and needs help getting around.

Still, she smiles just as brightly as any other kid. And she’s not alone.

There are more than a few kids in the world born with conditions that affect their mobility.

Any way that helps them live their best childhood years can go a long way, right? It’s a good thing lots of people think the same thing!

YouTube screenshot - Inside Edition
Source:
YouTube screenshot - Inside Edition

Kaya can’t depend on crawling forever. It can be pretty exhausting to crawl everywhere, don’t you think?

She’s growing up fast like most kids and will need some other way to get around soon. There’s someone who can help with that, fortunately.

Here to help is Andrew McLindon, CEO of Mainspring Companies.

YouTube screenshot - Inside Edition
Source:
YouTube screenshot - Inside Edition

Andrew’s company specializes in automated equipment. He’s got lots of parts for building things in their supplies, and he definitely finds other ways to use them.

About fourteen years ago, Andrew began making customized bicycles for children with special needs.

His first one was for a family friend’s child, and Andrew and his company have honed their craft ever since.

YouTube screenshot - Inside Edition
Source:
YouTube screenshot - Inside Edition

And now Kaya is one of his latest clients. Andrew gifted her with a unique bicycle, much like the ones he’s made for hundreds of other kids.

Kaya’s new bicycle has an extra wheel and a specially-designed seat to help her stay upright and comfy.

“The neighborhood kids thought this bike was the coolest thing they’d ever seen. They loved it. And it’s all about that inclusion thing. And that’s when I knew ‘This is it. This is what we need to do’.”

These unique bikes help a lot, but they’re not cheap.

YouTube screenshot - Inside Edition
Source:
YouTube screenshot - Inside Edition

The parts and labor that go into making them cost a pretty penny. Andrew doesn’t charge the families for them, though.

When they made their first few bikes, Andrew paid for them with his own money. Though they soon moved on to getting funding via donations.

YouTube screenshot - Inside Edition
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YouTube screenshot - Inside Edition

That was the best choice given the volume of bikes they had to make and the cost of making each one.

Andrew and his company have made over 400 of these special bikes now.

That’s at least 400 happier kids, which, compared to the cost of the bikes, is priceless.

YouTube screenshot - Inside Edition
Source:
YouTube screenshot - Inside Edition

Andrew tries to help as many kids as possible with the funding available.

He talked about the feeling he gets when he manages to make another child happy.

“It’s everything. It’s what life is about.”

“The things that I get to see with these families and these children is a gift. It’s an absolute gift, and it’s not lost on me. And I’m very grateful for it. And subsequently, I’ll do this forever.”

YouTube screenshot - Inside Edition
Source:
YouTube screenshot - Inside Edition

I definitely agree with Andrew on that. Here’s someone who set their mind towards helping to change lives, and he stuck to it. Now a ton of kids are happier because of it.

Hear more about this heartwarming story by clicking the video below!

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By Luis Gaskell
hi@sbly.com
Luis Gaskell is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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