LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Bob Crane is known as the Las Vegas valley’s Santa Claus, but he prefers to be called Santa’s helper. Every year Bob Crane gives away bikes to kids in need, and 2020 is the seventh year he is spreading holiday cheer.
According to Crane, this year is especially important.
“I know it’s a year everybody wants to forget about, but I don’t,” Crane said. “I’ve been very fortunate this year — very fortunate and so many kids [have] been very fortunate I was able to help them.”
Crane is the creator of Bob’s Bike for Needy Kids, and he says he’s seen so much good and positivity come out of the pandemic.
“I’ve gotten gifts from people for bikes; I got donations for the bike parts; it’s hard to explain, but every week something’s going on,” Crane said.
Crane looks forward to seeing kids smile every Christmas, and according to him, this year will not be any different.
“When COVID hit, I shut down just like everybody else did when every one shut down, and then the demand kept coming more and more,” he said.
At the beginning of the pandemic, it was extremely hard for people to find bicycles.
“I changed my system around a lot,” Crane said. “I did everything by appointment only so that I wouln’t have crowds of kids. I did everything safely as I could.”
Crane said he even sanitized the bikes. In March, April, and May, Crane gave away 300 bikes. This Christmas he hopes to donate 100.
“It just so happened that COVID hit this year [so it’s] much of a better reason to get the kids out in the fresh air,” Crane said. “They don’t care if it’s a new looking bike an old looking bike — it’s a bike — something they don’t have, and the smile goes like that — that’s when I feel good in here,” he said while pointing to his heart. “Everybody says thank you to me for what I do for the community, but it’s what the community does for me that keeps us going.”
Crane’s goal is to not have one single bike left in his garage on Christmas day. You can find more information on Bob’s Bikes on his Facebook page.