The basics: Michael Brandon, 46, is a shipping coordinator with Ransome Manufacturing in Fresno. He is divorced and has one son.
What he does: He spends weekends and his spare time collecting, repairing and giving away bicycles through his self-named Mike's Community Bike Rescue. He also is running a Christmas campaign to get 50 new bicycles donated for underprivileged children.
Why he does it: "Who wouldn't want to play Santa Claus every day?"
Turning point: As a member of Fresno Pedal Junkies, a local bicycle club, he was asked this year to help fix bicycles for children at Wesley United Methodist Church near Fresno State. He helped fix 40 bicycles. Watching happy children ride away on their bikes, he knew he wanted to do more. "It touched a chord in my heart," he said.
Details, details: After helping at the church, he began collecting abandoned and broken bicycles, winding up with 43 bicycles. He established a Facebook page in August under his organization's name, although his group is not an official nonprofit. The page helps him get more donations of parts or broken and abandoned bicycles. A friend allows him and others to work on the bikes at a warehouse. And he works with a local bicycle shop to get parts. Now, in addition to providing bicycles for children, he replaces stolen bikes and provides bicycles for people who no longer can drive due to health problems. He said his operation is still small, but it continues to grow.
What others say: "In so many ways, it's wonderful," said Tina Rawson-Nuttall, the wife of Brandon's bike rescue cohort, Zac Nuttall. "Mike has always been the kind of person who would help people without hesitation. This charity is good for children and the community."
How you can help: To donate bicycles or to ask for help in getting a bike, contact Brandon at 476-0786 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations also can be made to an account at Tower Velo, a bicycle shop at 1435 N. Van Ness Ave., telephone (559) 268-2863.
-- Mark Grossi