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 | Katie Camario

Local Ministry Garners Media Attention and More

What started as a simple ministry idea less than two years ago is now gaining recognition across Tampa Bay with six local media outlets recently reporting on their remarkable success.

Sacred Heart Catholic Church's Bikes from the Heart ministry was also named the best Downtown Collaboration of 2024 during the Downtown Partnership’s Urban Excellence Awards. The award honors the ministry’s significant contributions to the Downtown Tampa community.

“We're doing this for the honor and glory of God, by sharing God's love,” said Tim Eves, who co-founded the ministry alongside fellow parishioner Tom Henry. They are hoping to give away one thousand bicycles this year to people in need.

Bikes from the Heart ministry is based out of Sacred Heart Catholic Church’s “North Campus” property where teams of volunteers collect used bicycles and repair them for distribution.

For Eves, his interest in bikes began at a young age.

“We didn't really have a whole lot of money as kids, but I've just always loved bicycling and fixing bikes,” said Eves.

Eves also appreciated the freedom and independence having a bicycle provided him, especially after graduating high school. That’s when during the summer of 1974, he and a friend embarked on a four-day bike trip pedaling hundreds of miles from Buffalo, New York to Annapolis, Maryland.

“What I really remember is how much my buddy and I just laughed. I mean, we sang the same songs on the road again, over and over,” he recalled. “We just laughed for like, four days straight.”

And now, the ministry he co-founded is offering individuals the freedom that a bike can provide, enabling them to regain their independence, reconnect with their community, and experience the embrace of God's love.

“A lot of our recipients feel that same freedom when they know they're no longer constrained by having to walk,” said Eves who is retired.

Tim Eves, a parishioner of Sacred Heart Parish started, "Bikes from the Heart", with his friend Tom Henry. The ministry donates bikes to people in need.


One such recipient, a man who previously walked several miles each day to his job, can now make the trip in less than an hour on his new bike.

This transformation is at the heart of the ministry's mission which is expanding thanks to the partnership with the City of Tampa which connects those in need of a set of wheels with the ministry.

“It’s transformational for both the people getting the bike and those of us that are fixing and delivering the bikes. It's transformational, all the way around,” said Eves. “I always feel like I'm happiest when I'm helping somebody with something.”

Eves said he and the rest of the volunteers are thankful for the recent accolades but remain focused on the ministry's mission.

"We're not doing this for the awards," he says. “But we are amazingly blessed with all of the support we have for this for this ministry."

As Bikes from the Heart continues to grow and gain recognition, the ministry’s passion for bikes and spreading God's love remains at its core.

"What we get back from the people we help is amazing. It's a feeling of giving, but also receiving," said Eves.

While Bikes from the Heart has been successful in donating hundreds of adult bicycles, they currently have an abundance of children's bikes in need of homes.

The ministry is seeking a local organization, like a school or after-school program, to distribute some bikes to young recipients. Those interested should contact the ministry.

To learn more about the ministry, volunteer, or donate, click here.

Sacred Heart Catholic Church offers special thanks for the Community Impact Grant program from the Catholic Foundation of the Diocese of St. Petersburg for their support of the Bikes from the Heart.