To say Billy Wilson works hard would be an understatement.
“I work at the gas station Circle K, and Hannaford,” said Wilson.
Two jobs, full time.
Billy has to bike about 15 miles every day between downtown Bar Harbor and his home in Town Hill.
Lori Bartlett, a dispatcher for Bar Harbor PD sees him making the trek-in all sorts of weather. “The other night when it was pouring down rain and there he is pushing his bike up a hill. And I felt horrible. I said your bike looks really heavy. Is it? And he said yeah, it’s a heavy bike and it’s kind of getting old and worn,” said Bartlett.
“It’s been taking me a good hour to get to work,” said Wilson.
“And then it came to me. Well what can I do to help him get a better bike?” said Bartlett.
So Bartlett made a post on the Bar Harbor Barter and Swap Facebook group-a post that caught Bar Harbor Bike Shop manager Adam Gariepy’s eye.
“I wrote on it that I would help and the next day you just had–every 10 minutes people were walking in the door with a small amount of cash or a check,” said Gariepy.
How much, you ask?
“$870. Bar Harbor Bike pitched in a little bit for it,” said Gariepy.
All unbeknownst to Billy-until now.
“No he has no idea,” said Gariepy.
“Hopefully he’s very excited,” said Bartlett.
Wilson thinks he’s coming in for a new lock.
As he walks in, Gariepy breaks the good news.
“So you have a bike,” said Gariepy. “It’s for you from the town.”
“I had no idea,” said Wilson.
Bartlett says she hopes others follow the example set by this generous community.
“Shouldn’t we be paying it forward always? And kind of look out for each other,” said Bartlett.
“Good to see Billy with a smile and it’s going to stick. I think it’s going to stick. Shows how much people care about him,” said Douglas Pelaggi, Wilson’s manager at Circle K.
“I knew community was a thing. I just didn’t know how strong of a thing it was,” said Wilson. “I’ll thank the entire island. Thank you.”