Jack Hairston says in 1999 he hit rock bottom. He had no job, he was disabled. He wanted to commit suicide. "I didn't see any need in living any longer."
But one day a stranger changed this 74-year-old man. "He fell off of his bike in front of my house a couple of times and then I looked very carefully and I could see that the brake wires on the bike were not connected." Jack added, "I got on my walker and hobbled out to the curb and I was able to very quickly with pliers and a screwdriver connect the wire again and his brakes worked."
Jack says he never saw the boy again, but he'll never forget him.
"He started the process of saving my life." The next day, a group of boys were at Jack's doorstep wanting their bicycles fixed, and they kept coming. "As more and more of the kids got involved more and more of the poor little me was taken away from me."
Now, 16 years later, Jack has employees and volunteers who refurbish old bikes for kids who can't afford a new one. Helping others, he says there's no better way to heal.
"If someone were to help me sweep the front yard, that would be great. to help dust off the bicycles, they are going to feel better about themselves because they are accomplishing something that's helping another person."
Jack has been through a lot in his life, including having heart surgery and battling pancreatic cancer last year.
Jack The Bike Man
2406 Florida Avenue
West Palm Beach