Salvage Santa Gives Bikes to Local Children

PANAMA CITY -- Mike Jones is helping kids gear up for the holiday season with this year's Salvage Santa.

Two hundred fifty kids will receive a bike for Christmas this year thanks to the generous donations of the community.

This annual event is one of the big highlights of the season.

Out of the box and onto the table. Members of the north side Baptist Church in Panama City helped put together bicycles for underprivileged children in the community.

Luther Stanford, Pastor Northside Baptist Church said, "A team can make a much greater impact than just an individual. So that's what we want to do."

For 30 years Mike Jones and his congregation have come together to build bicycles. His nickname is Salvage Santa.

Mike Jones, Salvage Santa, “The bicycles, you seen them, they're like brand new. I mean we put new tires and tubes and seats. We pick the best paint jobs that aren't all scratched up and then we tear it apart and completely rebuild it,”

All bikes and parts come from community donations. Jones says a few days ago he received $500 from Deer Point Elementary School. A local Boys Scouts member has even donated his time to help with Jones' yearly mission.

Hayden Cornelius, Boy Scout said, "It teaches you about your community and helps you gain experience in building a bike. I mean not every kid does this on a Saturday morning."

Two hundred fifty children will get bikes for Christmas this year. And after distribution, Jones will start salvaging bikes for next Christmas.

"We know that next week there's gonna be some children that's gonna have a big smile on their face. And…we're excited!" Jones said.

Mike Jones plans to distribute the bikes to families this coming Monday.

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