Holly Township man restores bikes and gives them away to deserving children
FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - (12/3/2020) - For some, gift giving can be very hard, especially when money is tight.
One man’s hobby has turned him into a local Kris Kringle for good little boys and girls.
There’s a very good reason there’s more than a hundred bikes at Gary and Jackie Skelton’s home in Holly Township.
“There’s people that are really in need, you know. They just can’t afford anything for the kids, especially a bike. Every kid loves a new bike,” said Gary Skelton, a Holly Township resident.
Shelton starting collecting and restoring bikes a few years ago, turning them from trash to treasure, for a little extra income.
But, when he found there was not much of a market for children’s bikes, he decided to give them away.
“This year, we’ve already hit sixty. And I really got a bunch now. They’re in good shape, nice bikes like this one on the bench here, that really nice, wonderful people donate to us.”
As word of mouth spread, and Shelton’s generosity grew, so did the number of bikes he’s restored.
50 bikes went to deserving children last year.
This year, he may top well over a hundred.
Gary’s wife Jackie, also plays an important role not unlike Mrs. Claus.
“I keep his bikes sorted. The ones that are adult bikes to be fixed later. The older bikes that need a lot more work. The faster bikes that he can just get in and out and cleaned and put bows on and post.”
Bikes are sometimes dropped off, while others are found when people drop them at the curb for trash pick-up.
Salvaging them was sometimes met with frustration.
“I would get up every morning and go, but I found out that the scrappers were beating me to it. So, I made friends with the scrappers and now they bring them here,” said Jackie Shelton.
You can find bikes like these on Facebook’s Fenton Area ReSell.
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