PANAMA CITY, Fla. — Despite the coronavirus, a Florida man, known as Salvage Santa for his work repairing bicycles and toys for needy children, still plans a holiday season of giving.
“This year we aren’t going to be doing the big Salvage Santa giveaway,” Mike Jones, who has for years repaired items for children, told WJHG. “All of the entities that give my toys away for me are going to be doing it themselves. They don’t want to get thousands of people together at one time, and the COVID it is frightening to a lot of folks. So we are building the toys, we’re collecting the toys, we’re giving it to them so they are going to be giving it away for us.”
Jones, a former police officer who has donated thousands of bikes over the years, got the idea while working at a department store. He noticed customers returning broken items that needed simple repairs. He asked the store if he could fix the items in order to give them to those in need, and the store agreed.
“I think this year is going to be a good year,” Jones said. “It’s two years after (Hurricane Michael) and we are rebounding from that still, so come on out and help the kids, and I just wish everybody a merry Christmas this year.”