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October 2017 Jefferson Award winner: Rich Settje

Rich Settje is our Jefferson Award winner for October 2017.

It's a rite of passage for every child out there: riding down the street on a bike without a care in the world.

However, not every parent can afford that for their child.

That's where October 2017’s Jefferson's award winner comes in.

Rich Settje collects, fixes, and gives away bikes to children who otherwise wouldn't have one.

"I didn't expect it to grow this big,” he said.

Settje started working on bikes eight years ago. It was just a hobby then, but now, it's something much more rewarding

"We go through nonprofits giving bikes away to children," Settje said.

Back in August, he donated a bike to a 13-year-old girl after a man assaulted her and stole her bike.

Over the years, he's helped out a lot of people like her.

Settje said, "We see a lot of kids without the opportunities in life, so having a bike to roll around on can be priceless to those kids."

He already has a full-time job, but he says it's nothing like seeing a smile on a kid's face when they get a bike

"That's what this is about. This is to do something good. It's just not doing good for me; it's giving back to the community."

Settje also likes giving the children a new skill along with their new wheels.

"We actually teach kids how to work on bikes in my backyard," he said.

People donate bikes to him all the time.

"A lot of times, we just get someone coming by who gives a bicycle for a kid."

Settje even works with the Omaha Police Department.

In addition, Settje will sell some of the bikes for around $7 to $10, and that money is used to buy tools to actually fix the bikes.

He says it's a team effort. His family turns into workers of his backyard shop.

It may be small to some people, but Settje says to a kid, it's everything.

"I enjoy doing it for the kids. It's never about us; it's can't be."

Do you know someone who's going above and beyond to serve their community?
Nominate them for the Jefferson Awards.
Each month, FOX 42, with Nebraska Medicine, selects a good Samaritan from a list of online nominees and announces his or her name on the FOX 42 News at 9.
The winner will be given an award and will qualify for a trip to Washington, D.C.
You can nominate a volunteer you know or just someone who is inspiring others.
They just have to be 14 years or older. Click here to make a nomination.

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