Couple collects 100+ bikes for needy after Diane Sawyer special - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Couple collects 100+ bikes for needy after Diane Sawyer special


MINERAL POINT (WKOW) -- Last winter, ABC aired a special program reported by Diane Sawyer on poverty and hopelessness in Appalachia.

Marvel Nelson of rural Mineral Point, Wisconsin was watching.

One Kentucky woman in Sawyer's report especially caught his attention.  She walks eight miles to and from her GED classes everyday on winding roads through the mountains.

"I thought bicycles," said Nelson. "Bicycles. That's it."

Nelson and his wife were inspired to start collecting a few spare bikes from neighbors.  They wanted to deliver them to the woman and other residents of the Kentucky community profiled in Sawyer's report.

Eight months later, the Nelsons' front yard now has more than 110 bikes.  They've come from strangers and friends alike, all by word of mouth.

"Every time I see a bicycle, I see a kid smiling," said Marvel Nelson.  "If it helps one person, it's all worth it."

A stranger even donated a trailer so they can haul the bikes to Kentucky.  They plan to start driving on Friday, Oct. 30.

The Nelsons say they want to collect bikes again next year for needy people of Appalachia.

If you'd like to help, email reporter Dan Cassuto at




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