Printed by Cumberland Times News on August 25, 2013
Pedal taxi ready to deliver quality time for vets, kids
CUMBERLAND — A support group made up of military veterans has joined with a local bicycle shop to get a pedal taxi assembled and ready for use by those who served in the armed forces and the children in their lives.
Sgt. Joe McDaniels and his wife, Jessica, of the nonprofit group Veterans for Children, Inc., purchased the vehicle online and asked Cycles & Things for help in putting together the four-wheel, five-passenger mode of transportation.
“We want this to help parents spend time with their children. It’s also good to provide assistance to those who have trouble walking,” said Sgt. McDaniels.
The pedal taxi, manufactured by Surrey International, has seating behind the steering wheel with two sets of pedals. In the front is a bench seat that can hold two small children.
A Vietnam U.S. Army veteran, Sgt. McDaniels, 62, resides in Piedmont, W.Va.
“We help veterans. But we will help anyone, especially if there are children involved,” said Sgt. McDaniels.
Mike Hutt, the owner of Cycles & Things, said he would assist in the effort and assemble the contrivance at no charge.
“I’m a veteran. My whole family served. It’s a way to give back,” said Hutt.
Bill Harris, a Cycles & Things employee, also assisted in the assembly of the pedal taxi.
In addition to the pedal taxi, Sgt. McDaniels said that Veterans for Children, Inc. have a variety of ways it assists those in need.
They supply toys for needy kids, provide food baskets, offer home repairs, provide boating trips and assist vets who need repairs done to their vehicles.
Sgt. McDaniels joined the Army and served in Vietnam from 1968 to 1971. When he returned home he began to substitute teach in 1971. He was touched by stories of children living in poverty with no means for even receiving a Christmas gift.
In 1972, Sgt. McDaniels established Veterans for Children Inc. The group is a 501c3 tax-exempt nonprofit organization.
“No child will go hungry or want for a toy as long as Veterans for Children, Inc. is in existence,” said an emotional Sgt. McDaniels.
Sgt. McDaniels was asked what he enjoys most about helping children.
“I enjoy seeing the parents with their children, and sharing time together as a family” said Sgt. McDaniels.
For more information on Veterans for Children, Inc., utilizing the surrey, and how you can donate, visit Veteransforchildren.com. or 240-522-6880.