That story may not be true. (OK, it isn't.) But, yes Virginia, there are Santa Clauses in real life. Some of them just happen to be in North Carolina.
Twenty years ago, two friends in the Tar Heel State started the Spokes Group. This year, the organization will give about 3100 brand-new bicycles to needy children through its chapters in Charlotte and other parts of the state. Over the years, more than 36,000 bicycles are so distributed.
Since there are never enough bikes and helmets to give to all of the kids who need them, recipients are determined by the spin of a bazaar-style wheel.
I salute everyone who helps out with the project--and is responsible in any way for acquiring, assembling, fixing and distributing bikes to kids through similar programs all over the US--and, I imagine, in other countries.
I also salute anyone who brings other gifts, food, clothing or companionship to anyone who is in need, alone or simply sad at this time of the year. (I think now of a dear friend who lost her husband and brother within months of each other this year!) Their work is never done.