Santa Claus may not exist (apologies if this is news to you) but there is one man in the US who arguably could qualify for the role for his astounding humanitarian work
Moses Mathis, a resident of Fayetteville, North Carolina, has for the last 20 years being giving away bikes to local children every Christmas.
The Bicycle Man
Moses, who is known locally as the Bicycle Man, refurbishes donated second-hand bikes through the year before organising a pre-Christmas giveaway of the bikes to children referred by school social workers in Fayetteville.
The school social workers determine whether families cannot afford to buy a bicycle and then refer them to back to Moses and his ever growing number of volunteers (elves) as suitable receivers of a bike. The volunteers help Moses in his workshop to refurbish the bikes but also administer the bike giveaway programme.
Moses started the bike giveaway in 1991 and the event has grown so large over the years that it is now part of the folklore of the town. Indeed, local police have been concerned at the numbers the event attracts that they’ve had to insist on Moses taking the event to larger premises several times in the last twenty years.
This year’s giveaway on December 22 saw 1,104 children receive bikes. Along with a bike, each child gets a helmet. Other donated items are also handed out at event to the children. This includes toys, books, clothes, shoes and a stocking full of personal hygiene necessities.
Asked why he makes all the effort to refurbish bikes throughout the year and then organise the giveaway, Moses remarks: “Just for this day. I see the hugs, the smiles, the people and all that good stuff, and it’s wonderful. Wonderful.”
Work has already started on next year’s event, and The Bicycle Man is keen as ever to receive any donated bikes. We have to commend Moses on his humanitarian approach and of course introducing the bike to many a child.
Photo credit and use courtesy of The Fayetteville Observer
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