Veterans find peace in fixing bikes

1 year 11 months 2 days ago Monday, November 13 2017 Nov 13, 2017 Monday, November 13, 2017 12:58:00 PM CST November 13, 2017 in News
By: Gabrielle Hays, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - Tyler Kempker is a volunteer for Bike to the Future. A program that gives bikes to people in the community who don't have a car. The group has donated bikes to the homeless, refugees, re-entry residents and people who are in need. 

Kempker spent six years in the U.S. Army. He was enlisted in 2006 and retired in 2012.

"Since then I've been involved with Truman Veterans' Hospital. I deal with PTSD and the VA has really helped with that," Kempker said.

He now spends his time outdoors, hiking, and fixing bikes. 

"It helps to do things that get your mind off of what bothers you, fixing bikes does that for me."

In the beginning the program depended on individual volunteers who signed up through the organization's website. 

That was before veterans from Truman Veterans' Hospital started coming every Tuesday to fix donated bikes so they could be given away.

Kempker is one of those veterans. He said fixing bikes allows him to help the community and himself. 

"Fixing these bikes is an outlet for us. We don't have to think about anything else but getting those bikes out to those in need," Kempker said.

Dan Steska is the lead volunteer for Bike to the Future. He said the program has been around for a year now and has grown to help almost everyone.

"We had no idea that this would grow to help both the community and the volunteers when we started this," Steska said. "It's truly fulfilling."

Erin Carr is a recreational therapist at the V.A. hospital. She said fixing bikes is more than just a volunteering opportunity.

"It's important to understand that a lot of the bikes end up in the hands of other veterans in need who are out in the community," Carr said. "So it's this idea of veterans helping veterans, it's a circle."

For Kempker, this is partially why he loves volunteering so much.

"It's big for us. I mean I love helping everyone, but when we as veterans get to help other veterans, it means a lot," Kempker said. 

For more information on how to contact or donate to Bike to the Future you can visit its website.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - On Wednesday morning the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) released an update to global land and ocean... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 9:49:00 PM CDT October 16, 2019 in Climate
MEXICO – A vape business owner defended their products after Governor Mike Parson released his ‘Clean the Air’ campaign Tuesday.... More >>
4 hours ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 9:11:00 PM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — Police chased a person through Columbia Wednesday night after they said the suspect failed to pull over for... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 8:07:00 PM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - State Auditor Nicole Galloway released an audit Wednesday of the Insurance Dedicated Fund and the Insurance Examiners'... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 6:48:00 PM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Sharp End Heritage Committee unveiled seven new markers Wednesday that will be placed on the African American... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 5:48:00 PM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed a lawsuit against Cory Mincey and Puppy Love Kennel of Dallas... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 5:48:00 PM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - In an effort to decrease the number of suicides across the state, a non-profit group is teaming up... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 5:45:00 PM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
MILLER COUNTY - A Tuscumbia man has been sentenced to 15 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections for failure... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 2:42:00 PM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Three former Cole County Emergency Medical Services employees filed lawsuits against the county on Monday, claiming discrimination... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 2:33:00 PM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A precautionary boil water advisory has been issued for Missouri American Water customers in Jefferson City after... More >>
11 hours ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 2:16:00 PM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A Pennsylvania law firm has filed a class-action lawsuit against Hy-Vee. The lawsuit comes after the grocery... More >>
11 hours ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 1:31:00 PM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
DETROIT (AP) — Bargainers for General Motors and the United Auto Workers have reached a tentative contract deal that could... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 11:05:35 AM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
COLE COUNTY - A St. Thomas man is dead after a tractor crash Tuesday evening. According to the Missouri... More >>
15 hours ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 9:53:00 AM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - New trail markers identifying places of interest in the African American community are coming to the downtown Columbia... More >>
21 hours ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 3:53:00 AM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The local segment of a national student film competition called "Campus Movie Fest" (CMF) is starting Wednesday at... More >>
21 hours ago Wednesday, October 16 2019 Oct 16, 2019 Wednesday, October 16, 2019 3:52:00 AM CDT October 16, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia school district is investigating after a racist image imitating the web site of Columbia's Gentry Middle... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 9:24:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri Police Department (MUPD) is investigating a sexual assault that happened over the weekend near... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 7:53:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Twelve Democratic presidential candidates took stage Tuesday night in Ohio while mid-Missouri viewers watched on television. The debate... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, October 15 2019 Oct 15, 2019 Tuesday, October 15, 2019 7:44:00 PM CDT October 15, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 39°
2am 40°
3am 39°
4am 39°
5am 39°