John and his bike

I love it when a plan comes together. This is how it happened. John, helps take care of Jewel and Roosevelt. When they all moved to a new place, John’s bike got lost in the shuffle and John’s bike is how he gets around.
So when Kathy Bravo from JCP Cares asked me for a Christmas wish list, I asked for a bike for Jo

John washing and waxing his bike as soon as he got it home.

Sadly, there were not enough bikes to go around. But there was one bike. It was going to Mary Lawrence from PUSH and she was going to give it to someone in St. Augustine. When she came to pick up the bike, Kathy told her the story of John and Mary very graciously told Kathy to give the bike to John.

And so I did and John loved this bike. At any given time if I didn’t see John riding around Hastings, he would be at his house washing his bike.
The bike held up pretty well, but when John started a job in the spring at a sod farm, he was putting a few more miles on it and it finally gave out. John stopped by the pie shop one day and asked me I could find someone to fix his bike. I put out a call on Facebook and Kathy Bravo answered. John was so sad to load his bike in the back of my truck, he was very careful and I saw him watching as we drove away.
The very next day he called and asked me if I had heard anything about the bike. I had not. But about a week later, John had called me every day to check, I was giving him a ride home from work and I said, “you know John, maybe the bike can’t be repaired, but I could get you another bike, a new bike.” John looked at me and said, “thank you very much Malea, but to tell you the truth, I love THAT bike.”
He went on to tell me how it suits him just right, and the white sidewall tires, “are real sporty.”
And then Kathy Bravo called. She said she had news of the bike. I could tell something was wrong.

Kathy told me the bike seemed unrepairable and not practical for the use it was getting. So the folks at the bike shop very generously traded John’s bike for a newer mountain bike with gears, they felt would serve him better.
I know Kathy knew by my silence on the other end of the phone that this was not the best news, which she also knew. before I could react, she said, “I know where the bike is, Malea and I can get it back.”

It’s a fine line when asking for help. You need to be open-minded and allow folks to give what they want to give even though sometimes it may not be what you need. But I always take nearly every donation and I always let folks know how much I appreciate it.
But.. John LOVES his bike.

And so super trooper that she is, Kathy was on a mission to track down John’s bike. She went to the bike shop and they told her it had been donated. She was aghast! Then she tracked down the agency that had it and tracked the guy who did the repairs and .. she found it!

I trekked across Jacksonville to fetch his bike, which now had new ball bearings and spokes. Ready to ride!

You have never seen a happier guy.

I love my work because every single thing that happens… matters.