(WTHR/NBC News) An Indianapolis man is riding high, thanks to the kindness of a group of Good Samaritans.
It is a simple green bike: two tires, a seat and some handlebars. But to the man receiving it this week, 35-year-old John Wessel, this bike was a lifeline, a way for him to get to work every day to support his three kids.
“I gotta do what I gotta do for my family. That’s the only way I know,” John says.
For John, that’s meant biking more than two miles to work at the federal courthouse downtown where he’s a custodian. His work is contracted through Goodwill, who’s actually John’s employer.
“I like it here. People look out for you here,” John says.
The Tech High School grad found that out last month after his bike was stolen, and a group of security guards, who also work at the courthouse, pitched in and bought John a new bike.
Not even a month later though, the same thing happened again.
For several weeks after John’s second bike was stolen, he walked to work, remembering something his father wrote him in a letter before he passed away.
“He said, ‘I’m going to let you go, but realize you got to take care of your family,'” John said.
This week, John got some help with that when Matthews’s Bicycle Shop in Lawrence heard about what happened and stepped in, gifting John with a new bicycle.
“They didn’t have to go do that, but they did it anyway, cause they wanted to be nice,” John said.
John’s hoping the third time’s a charm. The courthouse has agreed to let him park his new bicycle inside the garage, so it won’t be a target anymore.
Bike or not though, nothing was going to stop John from following his dad’s advice.
“I’m doing what he asked me to do, is take care of my family. That’s all I can do,” John said.