Faith in action: bike minister

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A Sarasota man is fixing up bikes for the less fortunate on his own time, and often, on his own dollar.

 

Cary Smith spends most Saturdays tinkering in this workshop. He heads up Bayside Community Church's bike ministry. His townhome's garage is it's headquarters. Over the past two and a half years, he's repaired and given away 256 bikes.

 

The mechanic-by-trade got the idea to start the ministry after noticing the need for a reliable ride while serving the homeless at the Salvation Army.

 

"These folks don't have drivers licenses, none of them have cars. If they don't have a bicycle, they're walking," he said.

 

Through bike donations from IMG Academy, local law enforcement, and lay people alike, Smith is able to transform trash into treasure.

 

"It's amazing. I've had many people just cry on the spot. It's hard when you've never been without, which is the case for most American people. To go to someone who doesn't have anything, you give them a bicycle, you give them transportation, now they can reach out further than they ever have before," Smith said.

 

Smith says it's a small gesture that literally goes a long way.

 

"I'm so blessed. The Lord has really taken care of me and my wife to the point that's its an honor to give back," he said.

 

Smith is always looking for more bikes to fix up. His church is also looking for warehouse space so he no longer has to work out of his garage. If you're interested in helping, visit mybayside.church.

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