FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- It's the end of an era for a holiday bike giveaway in the Sandhills.
After more than three decades of fixing up and handing out thousands of bikes to kids, the Bicycle Man Community Outreach Projects in Fayetteville are coming to an end.
Ann Mathis has carried on the tradition that began in 1990 by her late husband, Moses, who became affectionately known as the Bicycle Man for gifting 1,000 bikes each year to kids from six counties just before Christmas.
Since Moses passed in 2013, Ann has kept the tradition going, but, she's decided this year will be the last.
"I am in the same age he was when he passed, 76," she explained. "And, I'm tired, ready to do something else now. My family's on my case about, you know, it's time for you to live for yourself and do things for yourself now. And so, I have decided to retire and I'm closing it down. I'm really tired. That's my main reason, and this decision was not made lightly. It wasn't -- because, you know, I know that it helps the community. It helps the kids. But every good thing has to come to an end eventually."
Before she retires, Mathis hopes to make the best of her last giveaway with help from the community.
"We usually start volunteers in October," Mathis explained. "So, we need volunteers to come in and especially ones that know how to repair bikes. And, I could use bikes. Doesn't matter what size but the only request that I have is that the bikes be in working condition. I don't need any bikes that I'm taking out of your truck and putting it in my dumpster. I don't need that."
Mathis said financial donations are also welcome. The last bike giveaway is set for December 17, 2022, in Fayetteville, and the charity plans to shut down on December 31.