By Bailee Harris
Photo: (From left) Petra Sneed of Mike’s Bikes and Terri Sparkman with the DeSoto County Dream Center display two of the donated bicycles. (Credit: DeSoto County Dream Center on Facebook)
Mike’s Bikes, a heartfelt non-profit organization, has become a source of hope for children across Memphis, Northwest Mississippi, Northwest Arkansas, and St. Louis areas.
Founded in 2019 by Petra Sneed, this organization is about more than bicycles, it’s a legacy of love and in memory of a lost loved one.
“My husband passed away in 2018 and I developed this nonprofit in 2019,” Sneed shared. “The purpose of it is that my husband and I used to give bikes at Christmas time. That was just something we did through the angel tree. After he passed away in 2018, several of his friends said, ‘we want to keep doing this if you want to.’ So that Christmas, they helped me provide bicycles by just giving money. That year, we provided 78 bicycles.”
Sneed developed this non-profit organization in 2019 by mailing out letters to different schools and organizations in order for them to provide bicycles to these children in need. During this year alone, she has provided 271 bicycles to children in multiple areas.
Organizations that Mike’s Bikes donates to include, but are not limited to, the Memphis Child Advocacy Center, House of Grace, Palmer Home for Children, Hernando Advocacy Center, and more.
One of these local organizations includes the DeSoto County Dream Center, who received 22 bicycles from Mike’s Bikes during this holiday season.
Expressing her admiration for the Dream Center, Sneed states, “I think that’s a great organization and I love it…It’s a great feeling to be able to organize this and feel like you’re helping another organization. It’s definitely a win-win.”
Aside from donating in the DeSoto County area, Mike’s Bikes helps children in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Jean Roby, a family friend of more than 30 years to Petra and her husband lost her battle to COVID-19. Her husband, Steve Roby, began delivering bikes in Arkansas in memory of his wife. Each child receives a bike, helmet, and ornament that says “Mike’s Bikes” on the front and “In memory of Jean Roby” on the back.
“That’s kind of something I really love,” Sneed said. “It makes for a really hard time to feel so much better when he delivers these bikes. He’s delivered 54 bicycles in the Northwest Arkansas area this year. It’s just a great feeling for him and his daughter to be able to do this.”
Mike’s Bikes is strictly by donation only, and 100 percent of its proceeds goes back to buy the bicycles for these various organizations. While Christmas time remains a focal point, Mike’s Bikes answers the call of need year-round, making dreams come true for children across different communities.
“This is a really happy place for me,” said Sneed. “It’s a dream to be able to continue to do this. My husband thought that a bicycle was a gift that all kids deserved and felt like that child’s life could change by having it. It’s just something that I wanted to continue to do in his memory and be able to move forward and grow from it.”
Bailee Harris is a journalism student at Ole Miss-DeSoto and is a contributor to desotocountynews.com.