BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG) - Mike Jones started his career in law enforcement more than 40 years ago, but he also had another calling. While working security at a department store, Jones was troubled by the number of toys and bikes being returned and destroyed, so he decided to do something about it.
Mikes Jones, better known as Salvage Santa, fixes broken toys and bikes for kids in need. (WJHG)
"So they started giving me all their broken toys, I started fixing them and giving them to the kids I knew of child abuse and things like that then TV 7's own, the late Joe Moore, who we all know and love to this day, nicknamed me Salvage Santa, the junkyard Santa Clause," Jones said.
Salvage Santa was born and to this day he continues to fix broken toys and bikes for local children in need. There are 2,000 children on this year's list.
Salvage Santa helps thousands of children have a better Christmas every single year, but this year Salvage Santa is salvaging his own home after Hurricane Michael. More than one year later, he is still living in a camper on his property while his home gets rebuilt.
"We're not complaining, there are so many people that are worse off then we are right now. and we just want to help Bay County keep everything going," Jones said.
Despite his own hardships, Jones is determined to bring Christmas to local children, and he can't do it all on his own. He's receiving a lot of support from the community.
"I wanted to help people, and I've made thousands of friends and there are just so many people in this community that help me and I'm just a blessed man," Jones said.
Salvage Santa, a true hero, will stay busy in his workshop to meet the need for this year, but the work starts all over again the day after Christmas and Salvage Santa has a lot to look forward to.
"Start sleeping in a bed and take a shower in a real shower, yeah we are excited, it's a really exciting time," Jones said.
If you are interested in helping Salvage Santa, give him a call at (850)-832-2976 or visit his website: salvagesanta.com.
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