ARIZONA’S HEART & SOL: Former police officer giving back to community

Marty Moreno started Bikes for Tikes after hearing heartbreaking story from some students
Former Tucson police officer Marty Moreno started "Bikes for Tikes" after hearing heartbreaking stories from children.
Published: Dec. 31, 2021 at 5:34 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Four years ago, former Tucson police officer Marty Moreno gave a safety presentation to a group of students who come from low-income families.

He started out the talk by asking what Santa brought them for Christmas.

The kids’ response broke Moreno’s heart, Santa doesn’t go to their homes.

Moreno’ created “Bikes for Tikes” and partnered with Head Start, which helps low-income families.

“We obtained enough funds to buy 52 bikes and that was the first year,” he said.

In 2021, they were able to give out 44 bicycles.

The funds come from retired employees of the Tucson Police Department.

“We wanted to continue serving our community,” Moreno said.

On Dec. 22, one by one the kids were checked off the list and surprised with new bikes.

A family showed up to get a bike. One boy was on the list, but his older brother was not.

That didn’t fly with Marty.

“Pick a bike out, you get one too,” Marty told the boy.

These kids are not used to getting Christmas presents, let alone a bike.

We asked Moreno what it’s like to see their faces light up like a Christmas tree?

“That is exactly why we do it,” he said.

And that is exactly why Moreno was chosen as Arizona’s Heart & Sol. Casino Del Sol and KOLD have joined forces to honor those making a difference in our community.

Moreno was presented with a $300 gift card and his reaction was filled with thankfulness and happy tears.

“Wow, thank you so much,” he said. “I was not expecting this. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. This is going to go to the kids. You surprised me like I surprised the kids.”

If you know someone who represents Arizona’s Heart and Sol, use the form below. You can read about other Heart & Sol winners HERE.

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