Ministry Donates 500th Bike Ahead of Anniversary

Bikes from the Heart, Sacred Heart Catholic Church’s outreach devoted to refurbishing and redistributing bicycles to those in need has reached a milestone just ahead of the ministry’s first anniversary. Volunteers from the ministry joined members of Tampa’s Downtown Partnership to deliver the 500th refurbished bicycle to Billy Shane Warren, a member of the Downtown Partnership’s Clean Team, on Friday, April 26.

“I’ve had issues with parts in the past, and then the theft of an old bike, so this is truly a blessing,” said Warren, who received the donation in front of the “Downtown” mural at the Partnership’s outpost on Ashley Street, just south of I-275. When receiving the bicycle, Warren recounted stories of a bike he had owned since age 9 that was stolen nearly two years ago, and the trouble he has had since in maintaining others he had attempted to salvage.

“It’s going to make getting to work so much easier, that’s for sure,” Warren continued, speaking with ministry leaders and his TDP colleagues. His current commute from east Ybor is nearly five miles, a daily journey he would often make on foot, in addition to his daily rounds that cover the western and southern portions of the downtown streets.

Bikes from the Heart is a volunteer program founded by Sacred Heart parishioners Tim Eves and Tom Henry that operates out of the former convent on the church’s “North Campus” property, formerly Sacred Heart Academy (3515 N Florida Avenue). Used bicycles and parts are donated to Bikes from the Heart by individuals, parishioners of Sacred Heart and other area churches, apartment and condominium complexes, partners like WellBuilt Bikes, as well as law enforcement. Those bikes are then refurbished into working order to be given recipients across Tampa Bay that are struggling with access to reliable transportation.

“We’re excited to be here with our friend, Billy Shane, the friars, and our friends from the Downtown Partnership to celebrate this moment in our ministry,” said Henry. “Over the first nine or so months of this ministry, while getting established, we were able to produce a little over 200 bikes. In the last three months, we’ve done nearly 300, and our hope for next year is produce over 1000.”

Founders Tim Eves and Tom Henry began work on the project in May of 2023. The growth of the ministry has been meteoric, from the swell of volunteers who believed in the mission of the ministry, to receiving grants from the Catholic Foundation of the Diocese of St. Petersburg and earning civic recognitions like the 2024 Urban Excellence Award for best Downtown collaboration.

The ministry regularly works with Catholic Charities’ homeless shelter, Tampa Hope; Love INC of Metro Tampa, an ecumenical collective of intercity churches addressing community needs; Metropolitan Ministries; Hyde Park United Methodist Church, The Portico, the Agency for Community Treatment Services, and the Tampa Downtown Partnership on distribution of the restored bikes. Some bicycles are also given to recipients through direct request or referral.

To learn more about the ministry, volunteer, or donate, visit

– – – – – – –

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.