COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A Columbus business owner is getting ready for another year of putting smiles on children's faces.
Chester Jackson, owner of East Coast Body Shop on Farr Road, is asking for bike donations for his Wishing Well Foundation bike giveaway in December.
Every year, Jackson and his volunteers give away more than a thousand bikes to children across the Chattahoochee Valley.
He already has a trailer of more than 400 used bikes to be repaired, but he's also asking for close to 500 new bikes to help.
"It is about our children," Jackson said. "They deserve it, they don't ask for much. A bicycle is not that much donate - $59 - $63. A child means so much."
Now in its fifth year, Jackson is hoping to collect more than 1,200 bikes this year because he ran out of bikes to give away last year.
Jackson also says he will have secure trailers to protect the bikes after a few burglaries at the shop in the past.
Additionally, this week one of the young men that Jackson mentored at his shop, Turner, returned to show his gratitude for keeping him out of jail and changing the trajectory of his life.
Turner first met Jackson earlier this summer after surveillance cameras at East Coast Body Shop recorded him and two other young men damaging customer's property.
When police caught them, Jackson decided not to press charges. Instead, he offered them to come work at the shop fixing bicycles.
A month later Turner, decided to join basic training and graduated Thursday morning. Turner leaves Thursday night for his continued journey of success as soldier in the United States Army.
He credits Jackson for believing in him enough to not let one bad decision change the course of his life.
"Young adults that come into my world, whose life I am able to effect, is why the foundation exists," Jackson said. "I will continue to mentor the youth to keep them out of prisons and graves, and give them opportunities to be positive citizens in their communities."