Saturday, August 18, 2018

Ken Nies' Bike Legacy

Ken Nies, who recently passed away, was a true hero in the BWL world, running a Bike Ministry Program providing bikes to the homeless and other needy adults in Lee County who needed a bike for transportation, while teaching the homeless how to repair bikes, and asking recipients to put in 8-10 hours of service with a nonprofit. A true win-win-win formula.

 Thanks to Fred Matthews for his 8/18/18 News-Press letter to the editor highlighting the legacy of this unsung hero in our community. Ken will be missed by the BWL community and the many lives throughout Lee County that he touched.

Mary and Ken Nies

Bike legacy

3,000 bikes given away. Who does that? Ken Nies, "the bike guy", who operated his ministry out of City Gate Church, did. Ken recently passed away. He was a one-of-a-kind volunteer who was known by many and respected by all who knew him.
The bike ministry was started to provide working bicycles to homeless people who needed transportation. The ministry had rules – 8 to 10 hours of community service, documented in writing. In exchange you received a quality bike, including a lock and lights, both front and rear. 
There were many stories that came out of the bike ministry. One of the best that I remember was that of a young man who came to work at the bike ministry. He was sleeping on the streets, but through Ken's efforts he became a United States citizen and now has a good, paying job and a place to live. Ken, we will miss you. Ken did not own or ride a bike, but his bike legacy will be remembered by the many people he served.
 Fred Matthews, North Fort Myers
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