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Volunteers surprise Nashville children in need

(Fox 17 News)

Kids in the Ride for Reading program and the Front Porch Ministry got a special surprise on Friday.

Kids attending the Salvation Army day camp lined the front parking lot, giving the Ride for Reading volunteers a rockstar greeting.

Each volunteer arrived on a bicycle with balloons attached to the front bike handles and a crate of books attached to the back.

“They’re just full of joy," said Brenda Mikec, executive director of the Ride for Reading program. "To think that someone is delivering them books and a lot of them, once they understand they get to keep the books. It’s really warming to hear."

It's part of the community fun day held at the Salvation Army in east Nashville. The Ride for Reading organization partnered with the Front Porch ministry for the event. The little books serve a big purpose in the lives of kids who don't always have a lot.

“We try and just do a lot of fun stuff during the summertime when adults are around and they can just let all of their defenses down and just be a kid and just enjoy,” said Michele Hazelip, co-founder of Front Porch Ministry.

Organizers say they came together for a fun cause, but the issues some of the kids battle are serious.

“We realized that there were families that were there lights were being turned off or they were being evicted out of their homes and when you get to know people and relationship no matter what the demographic is you realize everyone has a story,” said Hazelip.

Darrel Scott works at the Salvation Army, and his 6-year-old granddaughter attends the day camp. He says the kids often struggle at home with little to no resources and sometimes violence in their neighborhoods.

Sometimes a little treat goes a long way.

“The kids of course did get excited about the popsicles," Darrell Scott said. "It’s hot outside and of course they love the attention they’re getting from the adults but also love how the community is investing in them."

This is the first time the two ministries have partnered for a fun day like this at the Salvation Army however, both have been very active in supporting kids in the Nashville community.

The Ride for Reading volunteers hop on their bikes delivering hundreds of books a year to kids in under served communities. The Front Porch ministry operated by Hazelip and her husband, hosts weekly events for more than 100 kids looking for fun and a safe place to be a kid.

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