Cache Valley resident Josh Barnett started a GoFundMe fundraising campaign for Brent Carpenter, better known as Bicycle Brent, an active elderly man with cerebral palsy who bikes around Logan waving to passersby.
Barnett says that Brent often comes into his work on Main Street for a friendly visit, but during one particular visit Brent was asking for money to buy milk, juice and food. His goal with the GoFundMe campaign was to raise $500 - $1,000 for Brent, but after a week he raised over $50,000.
“I’ll take a selfie with Brent, I’ll post it online, I’ll tell people, 'Who can raise 500 bucks or 1000 bucks,' honestly, I was being optimistic," Barnett said. "We made $3,000 in the first hour. It’s just crazy, it just blew up.”
Barnett learned that Brent’s rent had gone up, and he didn’t have the money to afford the new rate. He relies heavily on his siblings to take care of him, especially his sister Linda Carpenter.
“It was just like an answer to a prayer. I would pay his rent, his utilities, his bike repair, you know, do his laundry, and I’d get his pills; his social security just didn't cover everything. That money will last Brent for the rest of his life. Thank you to all those who have contributed, it wouldn’t exist without all the people contributing,” Carpenter said.
Along with the monetary donations, Brent had also received other types of charity. His landlord agreed to give him a few months of free rent, and many restaurants around Cache Valley have offered free food. Even Stevens Sandwiches is one of those restaurants, offering him free lunch for a year.
The residents of not only Cache County but all over Utah have been submitting recommendations to get Bicycle Brent and his ”guardian angel” Josh Barnett on the Ellen DeGeneres Show.