Perfect timing: Donated bicycle finds ready recipient at Iola’s Humanity House

Ron Nelson, a former Allen County resident, likes to buy old bicycles, fix them up and donate them to those in need. He brought several bicycles to Humanity House, where a 12-year-old boy was in need of a bike.


Local News

March 11, 2024 - 2:28 PM

Johnny Sierra, age 12 of Iola, takes possession of a bicycle provided by Ron Nelson, a former Allen County resident whose hobby is to refurbish old bicycles. He made a donation to Humanity House on Friday. Photo by Vickie Moss / Iola Register

It’s the kind of timing that makes you wonder if greater forces are at work.

Ron Nelson traveled to Iola from his home in rural Bonner Springs on Friday to deliver refurbished bicycles to Humanity House.

Nelson grew up between Elsmore and Humboldt. He still considers Allen County and Iola to be his hometown.

He often buys bicycles and other items at bargain prices at thrift stores and garage sales. Then, he makes any repairs they need and gives them away. He chose Iola’s Humanity House, an anti-poverty organization, for this particular donation. 

On Friday afternoon, Nelson ran errands and had lunch with his brother, Mel Nelson of rural Moran, before arriving at Humanity House a little after 2 p.m. 

Johnny Sierra, age 12, just happened to be there at the same time. He and a twin brother recently moved to Iola to live with their grandmother after their father passed away.

And Johnny needed a bike.

Johnny helped unload seven bicycles and other items from Nelson’s Ford Transit. Most were too small for him. 

Finally, at the very back, Johnny pulled out the only boy’s bicycle. It was just the right size, although it had training wheels and he didn’t need them.

Nelson found the bike at a thrift store, originally priced at $19.95. He wrangled a deal to buy it for $4.95. 

“That one’s yours,” Nelson told Johnny. 

With a smile, the boy left with his new bike.

Ron Nelson and Johnny Sierra unload donated bicycles from Nelson’s vehicle. Photo by Vickie Moss / Iola Register