BROOKSVILLE, Fla. (WFLA) — A local business in Brooksville is asking the community to donate gently used bicycles for a good cause.
For the last 13 years, Jim Holbrook has hosted a Christmas Bike Giveaway at his work, Vans Cars and Trucks in Hernando County.
“Normally what we’ll do is we’ll hand out raffle tickets and it didn’t cost you anything,” Jim Holbrook explained. “You just come in here, drop your name in a hat and then we draw your name and you win a bike.”
They want to bring some light to children in southwest Florida this holiday season. This year, Holbrook is packing the bicycles onto a truck and driving them down to kids who lost everything in Hurricane Ian.
“I figure that the community could really use that as far as some help,” Holbrook said. “Some help to relieve the stress of Christmas.”
Vans Cars and Trucks gave away 100 bikes in a massive celebration last year, but so far, they have only collected 65. Holbrook is asking anyone with a gently used bike to bring it by the used car dealership before next Saturday, when he heads down south.
“Enough to make a kid happy,” Holbrook said. “They all look like great bikes right here. They’re not brand new, they’re used, just like I am, just like our cars are.”
Holbrook doesn’t just take the bikes in and flip them back out either. He makes them look brand new.
“If they need paint, they need brake pads, they need seats, they need chains,” Holbrook said. “We just go through and we just make it like a new bike again.”
It all started when he got his son, Orion, a bike. Now, the son helps his dad.
“It makes me happier just because I get to spend time with my dad,” Orion said. “That makes me a happy person.”
And he wants to make other people happy too.
“I like looking at my own work,” Orion said. “It makes me happy knowing that, ‘Hey, I did that.’ And I can help other people out with that type of work.”
After helping people in the Panhandle when Hurricane Michael swept through, the Holbrooks saw the devastation of Ian and knew they couldn’t sit by.
“But I know those people still need a lot of help and they just kind of get forgotten about,” Holbrook said. “I want them to know I didn’t forget.”
If you’d like to donate a bike, canned goods, food, or toys, you can drop them off at 7043 Broad Street in Brooksville. You can also donate to the Holbrooks’ GoFundMe here.
The Holbrooks are asking for recommendations on where to distribute the bikes in southwest Florida. If you can help, contact Vans Cars and Trucks.