Salvage Santa giving bikes to children
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - He’s known as Salvage Santa and he’s very well-loved in our area and beyond.
Mike jones has been refurbishing bikes and other toys for several decades and every Christmas those toys go to kids in need.
This is a forty-plus-year-old tradition for Salvage Santa.
“I’ve loved to tinker and turn wrenches,” said Jones.
Along with enjoying what he does it all stems back to his law enforcement and security job where he encountered children who didn’t have presents at Christmas.
“It’s just important to see the kids happy at Christmas I mean it’s a joyous time of year,” said Jones.
In order to give those children a merry Christmas he accepts new bikes and ones that need fixing. He spends long hours in the workshop fixing up the bikes.
“This year we’re going to give out over 300 bicycles yep 300 bikes and that’s a lot of work,” said Jones.
He says he is needing more bikes this year.
“Right now, we need the 20-inch boys’ and girls’ bikes and the 16s the small ones,” said Jones.
Jones says he’ll repair 5 to 10 bikes a day.
“Well, you ask any kid what they want for Christmas and it’s always a bike and they’re expensive and we have the ability we have the tools with the help of a lot of people in bay county,” said Jones.
This could be jones last year as salvage Santa.
“I am looking for someone to take over the program I’m getting on up there. I’ll be 70 next year so it’s about time to wind it down a little bit it’s a lot of work, a lot of time,” said Jones.
A lot of work that he says is worth it.
If you would like to donate you can drop bikes and toys off at 2715 Hillsboro Avenue in Panama City.
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