By Lt. Christene Zoucha, AA/Public Information Officer
Deuel Vocational Institution
Inmate-refurbished bicycles are brightening the holidays of kids in Tracy thanks to the efforts of the community and Deuel Vocational Institution (DVI).
The Tracy Police Department, Elks Club, Bank of Stockton, the Tracy Police Officers’ Association and the California Correctional Peace Officers’ Association collect old bicycles and deliver them to the inmates enrolled in DVI’s Auto Body and Paint Vocational training. The inmates repair, refurbish and paint the bicycles. The bikes are then delivered to the Tracy Boys and Girls Club where they are given to underprivileged club members.
The bike project has been going on for five years.
Yauna Throne, Executive Assistant and Development Coordinator for the club, wrote a letter to DVI thanking the institution for their efforts.
“Exavier started at Boys & Girls Clubs when he was just 6 years old. He was a foster child with a very caring foster mom who took him in along with his brothers and sister and eventually adopted them. The kids all grew up in the Boys & Girls Clubs of Tracy,” writes Throne. “Exavier is now 18 and comes back to us at the Club to help out as often as possible, when not in school or working. He does not have a car and has to walk quite a distance to school, work and the club each day.
“He was so thrilled to get a bike; we wish you could have seen the pure joy and excitement on his face the moment we told him he could pick a bike this afternoon. Exavier is very humbled by the love and support from everyone involved in the bike project for (the club). He would like to thank you for making him feel important and loved.”