A man in St. Petersburg, Florida, is keeping up his tradition of donating bicycles for children in the area who are in need during the holidays.
Alex DeJesus said the tradition began three years ago as he stood in line at Walmart directly behind a St. Petersburg police officer who was purchasing a bike for a child, WFLA reported Friday.
When he asked the officer if he could pay for it, the officer explained the reason he was buying it.
“He told me a story that he loaned a bike to a kid who couldn’t make it to school,” DeJesus told the outlet. “So he promised her that if she continued to go to school, he would buy her a bike eventually.”
The incident caused him to think, so he bought a bike to donate to the police department and shared about it online. Little did he know that his friends would respond in a huge way.
“Another friend said that, ‘I’ll buy two’ and now that means I got to buy three,” DeJesus recalled. “And another person said ‘I’ll buy four’ – and the next thing you know, it just kept going.”
This season, he has gathered and bought over one hundred bikes. However, that created another issue.
“We bought too many bikes and now we’re trying to figure out how to raise some money to buy some helmets and locks,” he said. “But fortunately, that’s the easy ones.”
He is not raising the funds with a nonprofit group, but as an individual, and those who wish to donate may go to his wife’s social media page.
“So honored and humbled to be a part of something that means so much to us. Thank you to everyone who helped make this possible. Over 100 kids will have a much brighter Christmas!!” Kacy DeJesus wrote in a post alongside photos of the bikes:
Woke up before the sun this morning for another year of bike donations! So honored and humbled to be a part of something…
Once the donation is made to the police department, DeJesus said he will share the receipts online to be transparent.