Posted: 12:00 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013

Focus on the Positive: Oakwood

Abandoned bikes donated to Life Enrichment Center


Abandoned bikes donated to Life Enrichment Center photo
Oakwood City Manager Norbert Klopsch with abandoned bicycles in Oakwood. CONTRIBUTED

By Pam McGinnis

Contributing Writer

Every year a couple dozen abandoned bicycles are recovered by the city of Oakwood. Many of the bikes need repair and the city was in a quandary of how or where to dispose of the unclaimed bicycles. “We tried selling them, and that didn’t work out too well,” said Norbert Klopsch, city manager of Oakwood. Thanks to a city employee, the bicycles have found a new home at the Life Enrichment Center on Findlay Street in Dayton. “An employee was familiar with this organization and suggested to me that it could be a good home for these bicycles,” Klopsch said.

Jeffrey Sorrell, executive director and founder of the Center, said he has been contacted by several cities and colleges including Oakwood, Centerville and Sinclair Community College about taking in their abandoned bicycles. “We have a shop where we repair the bikes. It’s entirely run by volunteers. I have retired college professors and even a surgeon who give their time working in the bike shop,” Sorrell said.

The Center has four bicycle programs including Earn-a-Bike, Safety Village, Recycle a Bike and Errand Bike. The Center is involved with the community in encouraging bicycle riding and by repurposing abandoned bicycles they can provide bikes to citizens unable to afford a bike. Sorrell says as far as he knows, the bike shop at the Center is the only one in the city of Dayton. “Anyone can bring their bike in and we will fix it. Our customers make a donation for the service.” He said the bicycles provide transportation for people to get to job interviews or doctors’ appointments.

In addition to the bicycle programs, the Life Enrichment Center provides literacy programs, breakfast three days a week, computer labs, showers and haircuts. Sorrell explains that the purpose of the center is to provide life-building and life-sustaining services to the less fortunate in the Dayton and surrounding communities. They provide these services through the serving of meals, distributing groceries and offering a host of practical programs. Currently the Center serves more than 350 families. Sorrell said the Center is not a facility dispensing handouts. “We aim to help educate our clients and offer assistance so that in the end individuals and families help themselves to restore their purpose and dignity.”

Oakwood City Manager Norbert Klopsch said they researched the Center and found it to be very well run. “We found them to be an excellent, local, nonprofit organization that serves local citizens. Mr. Sorrell attended a city council meeting to tell them more about the Center to the city council.”


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