It’s difficult for one person to change the world, but 76-year old Lee Golden is proving that with a little effort, it’s easy to create a positive change in one’s neighborhood.
Golden is retired and lives in a less-than-affluent part of Evansville, Indiana. Despite struggling with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Golden spends most of his free time fixing up bikes and donating them to neighborhood kids who may not have one.
Since December, Golden estimates he has given away over 200 bikes. He also has spare parts available that he gives away free of charge. The only payment he wants is seeing a smile on a kid’s face.
“I just want to do something good for this world while I still can,” says Golden. “This is a poor neighborhood, and a lot of kids around here wouldn’t be able to have a bike. You can just see the joy on their faces.”
Golden lost his mother when he was just 7. He grew up without a lot of the finer things he life, so he understands what it’s like to grow up without a lot. That experience is a big part of what inspires him to help out the kids in his area.
“I never want to see a kid be hungry,” explains Golden. “I grew up pretty rough, so I know what that’s like. I know what people go through because I’ve been through it too. Anytime I can help, I try.”
A Facebook post from Evansville resident Jason Fetcher helped draw attention to Golden’s efforts. It also led to a flood of bike donations to Golden.
“He’s just an incredibly nice man,” says Fetcher. “He’s out here doing good things for people around here; I just wanted everybody to know about him.”
Golden doesn’t care about receiving praise or attention. He simply wants to see his neighborhood change for the better, and he’s been a big part of making that happen.
“We’ve seen a big difference in this neighborhood,” says Golden. “I’m not trying to take the credit. I just think when people see you trying to help it makes them want to do something too. People are helping each other out here now.”