He will work on bikes given to him or find bikes in the trash to recycle and give to a new owner. The Kettering Bike Shop also gives him bikes that are too expensive for the shop to repair. Various police departments will give him unclaimed bikes. Gau works on the bikes in the basement of West Carrollton Nazarene Church and in his friend’s garage.
Last year, Gau was able to give out 300 hundred bikes.
Charlie Gau works on a bike in West Carrollton. Gau was nominated as a Community Gem for the work he does repairing bikes and giving bikes to children and adults in the Dayton-area. CONTRIBUTED
“You get back so much more than you give when you do stuff like this,” Gau said.
Gau said he likes giving the bikes to children so that they feel special or important. The best part of giving a bike to a child is to see them “laugh a bit and light up,” Gau said. Giving bikes to adults so that they can get to work is also fulfilling, he said.
Gau said he hopes other retired people or churches could do similar work for their community and children.
“He’d go out of his way to help anybody,” Tammy Gau said. “He wants to make sure everybody has at least a bike to get around on.”
If you know a person in your community who has done something great in the community, go to DaytonDailyNews.com/communitygems and nominate them