PORT ST. JOE, FL (WMBB) – A bike doctor is changing children’s lives one bicycle at a time with the help of his community.
Hurricane Michael teared up much of the Gulf Coast, but the community has been able to pull together through it all. In Port St. Joe, people are donating bicycles and bike parts that were impacted by the hurricane to a man whose goal is put smiles on children’s faces.
Doctor Sprocket, or Nelson Mongiovi, recently gave Crimson Barrett a gift she will never forget.
“It’s very special to me,” Barrett said. That unforgettable gift is known as ‘Blue Betty.’ It’s a hand made bicycle Dr. Sprocket built after Barrett’s Nana made a special phone call.
“Crimson is here for the summer and needed a bike, so I called Nelson,” Debby Barrett said. ” I said can you make a bike for her and that’s what he did.”
Dr. Sprocket said, “No kid should need a bicycle they should have a bicycle, so Crimson and her grandmother got in contact with Dr. Sprocket and that’s what we do here, we put kids on bikes.”
Using his own two hands, Dr. Sprocket builds bikes from the ground up. However, it starts with donated bike parts from the community.
“I’m the last mile.” he said. “It’s the generosity of the area. They just show up with bicycles. I wake up in the morning, and they’re hanging on the fence in the alley.”
Much of those hanging parts and bikes are remnants of Hurricane Michael.
“After the hurricane all that was left was a bunch of beat up beach cruisers and kid bikes,” he said. With the help of the community, he set out on a mission to ensure every child has a bike.
“People were just wanting to do everything they could to make someone a little bit happier, so now we’re putting bikes together for kids,” Dr. Sprocket said.
That’s exactly how he was able to make Blue Betty for Crimson. Dr. Sprocket said people in the community donated the handle bars and other tools sued to create her bike.
“It was just love from the community,” he said.
Barret’s Nana hopes Crimson’s new bike serves as a lesson.“I hope it teaches her how good people are to other people,” Debby Barrett said.
Crimson said her new bike makes her feel joyful. She not only rides it with pride, but she takes the community with her on every ride.
Dr. Sprocket has a “Bone Yard” where many people drop off their donations. He is always accepting and looking for donated bikes and parts. To be a part of his mission, follow his Facebook page.