The Star Democrat

Percy Jones donates bikes to families

- BY TOM MCCALL tmccall@chespub c. om

CAMBRIDGE — It is not every day that handlebar tinsel and crab legs go together, but good things are happening at Percy Jones’ Total Fine Foods Outlet Store located on 218 Washington Street. Going out of his way to serve the community of Cambridge, he donated a fleet of bicycles for local kids this Christmas.

He and his wife Tina Jones were inspired by the Brighter Christmas Fund, Alesia Manokey with the Dorchester Department of Social Services, and the pastor at their church Greater Refuge Temple Church of God.

Jones wanted to help families by providing bicycles for their children for Christmas. He talked to Manokey, a friend from church who also works with Social Services. She reached out to Kathy Herron, Brighter Christmas Fund coordinato­r. The Brighter Christmas Fund provides money for families to provide gifts; Jones wanted to donate bikes. So, Herron contacted about 14 families who had applied too late to receive funding this year and gave them Manokey’s contact

informatio­n. The families who were interested reached out to Manokey, who passed on nine families for the Joneses to contact.

“The original idea was we wanted to give back to the community, just

to let them know that we are not just here to make money. Another organizati­on came up with nine families.

So, we are going to donate 14 brand new bicycles and also some other gifts,” Percy Jones said in an interview before Christmas.

His store is filled with refrigerat­ors full of meat. He says he has the best prices in town and also runs a wholesale meat and seafood business.

“We try to look out for the community in that way and also by giving them a good quality product at a reduced price,” he said.

The kids receiving bikes ranged in age from a year to 17. Distributi­ng the gifts was as simple as asking families to come pick them up.

“The parents are going to be coming in and picking up the bikes at their convenienc­e. I am not going to be Santa Claus. It works better for them.They can come in and get them on their own time,” he said. This is not a church-based effort. “We are strong in our faith,” Jones said. “We have a good strong church that we attend regularly. We do a lot of outreach for our church, but this is basically for our business.We have a good heart.When I was a kid, my father died. My mother had to raise three kids at a young age with no help. There were some Christmase­s that we didn’t have gifts under the tree. We took old boxes and wrapped them up and put them under the tree so people wouldn’t know we didn’t have enough money to buy gifts with. I want to help someone else out who is in a tough spot like that.”

He emphasized that it was about the families and not about him. He just wants to be a blessing to the community.

Thanks to the Joneses, there were nine separate families who woke up to bicycles underneath their trees this holiday.

In the meantime, donations are still being accepted for the Brighter Christmas

Fund, which is wrapping up its 38th year helping the community. The Star Democrat donates all of the fund’s administra­tive and operating costs.

The Brighter Christmas Fund is a 501(c)(3) charity, and tax-deductible donations, which helps families in need on the Mid-Shore, may be sent to The

Brighter Christmas

Fund, c/o The Star Democrat, P.O. Box 600, Easton, MD 21601. Donations also may be made online via credit card or Paypal at www.brighterch­ristmasfun­d.org. Click the “Donate” button. For more informatio­n about the Fund, call 410-200-1884.

The total to date is: $112,785.58.

 ?? PHOTO BY TOM MCCALL ?? Percy Jones and his wife Tina show some off the brand new bikes that they bought at Walmart to give away to local families. They wanted to make sure that the kids had something great under the tree.
PHOTO BY TOM MCCALL Percy Jones and his wife Tina show some off the brand new bikes that they bought at Walmart to give away to local families. They wanted to make sure that the kids had something great under the tree.
 ?? PHOTO BY TOM MCCALL ?? Percy Jones owns Total Fine Foods Outlet Store in Cambridge. After getting in touch with the Brighter Christmas Fund, he decided to donate 14 bikes to local families in his town.
PHOTO BY TOM MCCALL Percy Jones owns Total Fine Foods Outlet Store in Cambridge. After getting in touch with the Brighter Christmas Fund, he decided to donate 14 bikes to local families in his town.

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