LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A few weeks ago, Gary Norris made a decision to get his life back on the right track.
“I knew that they was a second chance organization and that’s what I needed and so I just, on the morning I got up and said today is the day I’m going to change my life and I came down here and got a job,” Norris said.
That job happened to be at a Goodwill store in Louisville. Even at 60, he got right to work and says he arrives early every day. But it’s not all easy.
You see, Norris doesn’t have a car, and it takes him around half an hour to walk to work. However, that’s all been changed.
Thanks to Goodwill’s Last Mile to Work program, Norris has been given a refurbished bicycle, tire pump and helmet. This cuts his commute time in half and gives him a new sense of freedom.
“It’s hard to find the right words. It’s just good, just makes you feel good,” Norris said.
He’s the 122nd employee in the state of Kentucky to receive a bicycle this year.
“Now I don’t have to walk to the corner store to get a pop or anything like that, which takes a little while too,” Norris said.
Last Mile to Work started in 2021 and now has an entire garage space where bikes are repaired and given away. Bikes are offered to Goodwill employees and anyone using their services in the state.
“The bus might get you so far, but it doesn’t get you that last mile to work. So now you’ve got some freedom, you load your bike up on to the bus, you take that almost to work, take the bike off, you’ve got one more mile to go and you don’t have to walk that distance. Now you can ride your bike,” Glenn Todd, program coordinator for Last Mile to Work, said.
Todd returned to Goodwill part-time after retiring to oversee this program. He works alongside other part-time employees and volunteers to get bikes back in working order.
But the program needs your help. They’re in desperate need of more bicycles and are asking anyone who’s willing to part way with theirs to donate it.
“We’ve kind of run into a need — not as many bikes are available and so we are looking for other sources,” Todd said.
Bikes can be dropped off at any Goodwill location. Just make sure to say it’s for Last Mile to Work. It’s a simple act of generosity that will bring a new level of freedom to someone who’s looking to better their own life.
Through Louisville Metro’s Office of Youth Development, the program is also able to provide new bikes to young people.