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Bicycles & Bibles: Beaumont, Texas foundation giving Christmas gifts to 1,000 needy youngsters
By: Reaud Charitable Foundation, Inc
"Since the holiday program began in 1999, the foundation has given away over 25,000 bicycles and Bibles to children who otherwise would not have a Christmas at all," said the foundation's Executive Director Wayne A. Reaud, an attorney and philanthropist, who started the annual event as a way for him and his family to give back to the southeast Texas community where he was raised.
Each participating child has been pre-selected and will receive about $2,000 worth of items this weekend. In addition to a new Mongoose Bicycle and a storybook Bible, each youngster will get a new winter coat, tennis shoes, wind suits, backpacks, clothing, footballs, basketballs, soccer balls, and candy canes. There also will be over 1,000 frozen turkeys and 1,000 boxes of food and fruit for each family.
"They'll receive everything they need for a traditional Christmas dinner," said Reaud.
This year's event has been changed from the previous years' community gatherings because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This time there will be a drive-thru distribution line to follow physical distancing guidelines. The children and their families will pass through covered checkpoints receiving their gifts.
The giveaway begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, December 12, at Ford Park Arena in Beaumont.
"I came up with the idea for an annual Christmas program when I repeatedly thought about the line from scripture in John 21 when Jesus told his disciple Peter, 'Feed my sheep.' Every year the event has grown and now the foundation additionally is providing bicycles and all the other gifts to the local Girls Home, Boys Home and Buckner Orphanage in Beaumont," explained Reaud.
"The United States is still the greatest nation on earth and when times get hard, we pull together and overcome the worst of circumstances through the best of mankind," he stated.
** Video and photos will be provided following the event
Jon Reaud, Executive Director