Hammersley giving back through Bike Angel project

| July 3, 2018

COSHOCTON – When Phil Hammersley got out of prison, he wanted to show people he had changed.

“I didn’t want to be the same old Phil,” he said. “I wanted to show people I had turned myself around and was staying away from drugs.”

Hammersley has been out of prison now for about two and half years and is accomplishing his goal by working at Belden Brick and helping the community through his Bike Angel project, which he started June 8.

“I was in prison for drugs for 11 months and had missed a year of my son’s life and didn’t get to teach him how to ride without training wheels,” he said. “That’s why I picked kids to help.”

Hammersley is collecting new and slightly used bicycles to donate to children who can’t afford them. He also will take bikes that he can repair or use parts off of to fix up other ones.

“This all started when an old buddy of mine called and asked if I was still scrapping,” Hammersley said. “I told him I wasn’t anymore because I was working. He had a bunch of old bikes out in his yard and was trying to get it cleaned up though so I decided to help him. I found 15 bikes that had nothing wrong with them. They just needed a little air in the tires. I didn’t want to scrap them, but I wanted to do something with them.”

He contacted Angie Cantrell at Chestnut Crossing Apartments to help him figure out what to do with the bikes.

“I used to help her fix bikes when I lived up there and she gave my son a bike,” Hammersley said. “I told her what I was going to do with wanting to help parents who can’t afford to give their kids a bike. I really want to give back to the community.”

Cantrell invited Hammersley to be part of her block party in August. She will have a tent for him where he can give bikes away.

“My goal is to take 100 bikes up there and I already have 50 and that’s after donating 39,” he said.

Hammersley has already received donations from many individuals and the following area business to help him reach his goals: Coshocton Recycling, AutoZone, Advance Auto, O’Reilly Auto Parts, The Salvation Army, Legacy Lanes & Lounge in Coshocton, Ace Hardware, Hahn Oil, Baker’s, Family Dollar, and Beverage Alley.

“I also let the sheriff’s office know what I was doing so if someone’s bike got reported stolen they can come see if it came in with any of my donations or I can help donate one back to them,” Hammersley said.

He greatly appreciates all the support his project had generated in the community and the help his fiancée Elizabeth Dunmire has given him.

“Knowing that people are willing to donate makes me want to do it more and more,” Hammersley said. “I come home from work and work on those bikes.”

For more on his project, join the Bike Angel group on Facebook.

“Doing this just warms my heart,” Hammersley said. “I’m just overwhelmed with joy and happiness. What warms my heart the most is when you hand a kid their bike, they smile, run up and give you a hug and then jump on their bike. It’s an amazing feeling.”

Category: People & Places

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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