Cleveland’s Own: Elves and More

In this month’s edition of Fox 8’s Cleveland’s Own, Matt Kaulig meets with Brian Miner and Tim House from Elves and More.

Since 2006, Elves & More of Northeast Ohio has adopted over 26 neighborhoods providing bikes and tricycles to over 15,000 kids during the holiday season. Ninety-five cents of every dollar donated to Elves and More goes directly to purchasing new bikes for kids, making Elves & More one of the most efficient charities around! Since 2015, Elves and More of Northeast Ohio have given away over 5000 brand-new bikes and tricycles to special neighborhoods in need. Each year, Elves and More gives away over 1000 bikes to each neighborhood they choose. That neighborhood is kept a secret up until the delivery day.

Fox 8 Cleveland’s Own

Fox 8 Cleveland’s Own is about good people doing good work in Northeast Ohio. WJW Fox 8 and Kaulig Charitable Giving Programs team up to celebrate Cleveland’s Own by highlighting the best of our region in a big way! Each month, Fox 8’s Stefani Schaefer and Kaulig Companies and LeafFilter Executive Chairman Matt Kaulig, share a story about a person or organization from Northeast Ohio doing good work.

To see more Cleveland’s Own stories, or to nominate an organization to be featured, visit Kaulig Giving’s Cleveland’s Own page.

Read the Transcript

Stefani Schaefer

Each month, Kaulig Giving and Fox 8 will highlight people, organizations, and charities making a difference in Northeast Ohio. It's time to celebrate Cleveland's Own!

Matt Kaulig

Hi, I'm Matt Kaulig. This month on Cleveland's Own, we hear from Elves & More of Northeast Ohio. Each year, this 100% volunteer organization adopts a special neighborhood to provide new bikes, tricycles and the gift of joy for kids at Christmas. Let's hear from Brian and Tim with Elves & More.

Brian Miner

The reason behind Elves & More was just wanting to give back to our community in some way. And Tim and I when we co-founded this were active cyclists at the time. And we heard about this gentleman down in Houston, Texas, who was doing something very similar just on a much larger scale. And I thought, man, that would be a really great thing to do here! And Tim said, "yeah, that would be a really great thing here." "Why don't we do that?"

Tim House

Brian and I came up with this nutty idea to give a 1,000 bicycles away to an entire neighborhood and complete strangers showed up who have since become like family to us and helped us fulfill our mission of giving 1,000 bicycles away. And that was year one! Because we are a 100% volunteer organization, because we have so many of the goods and services donated to us, we're able to deliver 95 cents of every dollar back to the gifts.

Matt Kaulig

So you guys to build 1,000 or 1,500 bicycles. You don't build them all ourselves. Like, do you get volunteers?

Brian Miner

Tim and I only build one bicycle every year, and it's always the very last bicycle. So we rely on our volunteers. They come back year after year after year. So for this year's build, we'll have probably 550 people there.

Tim House

If we had to pay for bikes to get moved from the West Coast to the Akron area every year, that would be very expensive. XPO Logistics has picked that up for the last ten years. In addition to that, every delivery, they supply trucks and drivers, which has been very helpful.

Brian Miner

We really view these bicycles as a conduit to find an opportunity that they may not see in their own neighborhood. Where could they possibly ride their bicycle to? Is it an after school program? Is it a mentorship opportunity? Maybe it's just an after school job.

Matt Kaulig

How do you choose the neighborhood? How big is the neighborhood? How many kids?

Brian Miner

We've determined that 1,000 is just too much at one location. So we've split that up into traditionally two 500 in each neighborhood. When we think about a location, Tim and I will talk about, where haven't we been to yet? We'll start to talk with the local police departments and we always ask about, where are you having the most calls? Because poverty traditionally follows crime. And those are the locations that we want to be able to pinpoint.

Matt Kaulig

Where are you giving the bikes away?

Tim House

We can't tell you.

Matt Kaulig

Is it a secret?

Brian Miner

It is a secret.

Matt Kaulig

Is it really? You just show up?

Brian Miner

We just show up. If we announced that we were going to be delivering bicycles to this neighborhood, we would have so many kids there that we wouldn't hit the demographic that we wanted.

Tim House

We show up blowing horns on trucks. We're usually led by a fire engine. We just stop at an intersection, open up the backs of trucks, start putting bikes on the ground and hand them out to every family that shows up with kids.

Matt Kaulig

So if they have a disability or if they just can't ride bikes. What do you do for them?

Brian Miner

So we will provide some other gifts for them. Children who are just too young to ride bikes, infants, we have gift boxes for them as well.

Matt Kaulig

How can Fox 8 viewers get involved?

Brian Miner

By easily going to our website. Booking the Join the team button. They can make a financial contribution, and then they can also register to become a volunteer. People ask how we measure success in Elves & More, and it's difficult for us. When we deliver a bicycle, we're not getting people's names their ages, where they live so we don't have really data to back up a success, right? So Tim and I have always said in our mind that success is when we have recipients come back and want to be part of the organization.

Matt Kaulig

To learn more about Elves & More and how you can support a cycle of caring for our neighborhood kids, visit Elvesandmoreneo.org. To nominate a person or organization for an upcoming episode of Cleveland's Own, visit Kauliggiving. com/clevelandsown. Make it a great day!