Volunteers deliver big surprise for local third graders - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Volunteers deliver big surprise for local third graders

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - About 100 local third graders burst into screams of joy and surprise at a school assembly Wednesday. For many of these kids, what they were treated to just might be the only Christmas gift they receive this year.

It looked a lot like an Oprah's Favorite Things event, for kids. The students at Bancroft Elementary School in Spring Valley thought the assembly was to announce the three winners of an essay contest on being a buddy, not a bully.

They sat in anticipation as the principal read the winners' essays. One by one, Dr. Lois DeKock awarded a new bike to the three winners. But then, Bill Pollakov, founder of the Bikes for Kids Foundation, got up to ask the principal a question.

"I've got to ask, were there only three good essays?" Pollakov asked.

"I had some more that did a really good job, I do," DeKock said.

They gave away not one, but two more bikes. Then the kids started to catch on.

"Here's what we decided. We're not going to give away one more bike… we're giving everybody a bike!" Pollakov said.

Pollakov says he was once one of these kids.

"My father passed away when I was five years old and I was raised by my 11-year-old brother and didn't have a bicycle until I was 16. So today, now that I have the ability to give back, it is a passion," he said.

"I tear up, it brings joy to my heart, and makes my Christmas so special. This is my Christmas present," Debbie Pollakov said.

Bill and Debbie Pollakov started Bikes for Kids nine years ago in their garage, and have donated more than 26,000 bikes to deserving children. One hundred percent of donations is used for bikes and helmets.

We'd also like to thank Common Ground Collaborative, whose volunteers spent hours Tuesday night assembling all the bikes.

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