44 year old Springfield, Massachusetts, resident Bob Charland, is all about giving back to people in need. He started as a coach for his little girls softball team which led to him working with Girl Scouts then volunteering as an automotive teacher for the school of the deaf. Then he met some kids whose families couldn't afford bikes. So he started finding old bikes at the junk yard and repairing them to give to the kids.
Charland got a terminal diagnosis two months ago. He has a neuro-degenerative brain disease and he wants to spend the time he has left helping others.
It gives me a real sense of purpose. I believe its 68 bikes that I’ve donated out over the past couple of years, coming from Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York. It’s spread like crazy. I get up around 4:00, 4:30 in the morning. From then, even until 11 o’clock at night, I’m here repairing the bikes.
Two months ago I was diagnosed with a neurodegenerative brain disease and it kind of completely rocked my world and my family’s world. At that moment, I was almost going to give up, but there were people still calling for bikes.
It’s easy for me to get them out in the community. Whoever wants it, that’s in a low income situation, they can take them. The feeling I get after I get done with a bike and give it to kid, or I get a note back, it’s well worth the time. I’m going to keep doing this as long as I physically can. On Easter, he delivered over a dozen to a low-income neighborhood with lots of deserving little ones.
He says as long as he can, he’ll continue to work to improve kids’ lives through bikes. “Why not?,” he asks. “If it’s just my time, why not do it? It’s making these kids happy, it’s promoting something positive in their life, so I’m going to keep doing it.”
Here's his Go Fund Me Page