Island Self Storage, which operates two facilities in Coombs and Parksville, British Columbia, is raising funds to purchase an electric tricycle for an elderly man whose bike and trailer were damaged in an accident last summer. Sarah Caruso, manager of the Parksville location, launched a GoFundMe campaign in February to raise $3,000 for Fred Buott, who collects bottles and cans to supplement his income. The campaign has raised $1,850, which includes a $1,000 donation from the storage owners, according to the source.
A GoFundMe campaign was originally launched last July after Buott was run off the side of the road by a truck and his bike damaged. The page was later deleted for unknown reasons. Caruso, who’s known Buott for many years, resurrected the campaign after watching him pull his bike and trailer up a hill near the Parksville Bottle & Recycling Depot.
“It’s clearly not what he needs,” she said. “I couldn’t watch it anymore, so I decided to start the GoFundMe campaign.”
The electric bike will cost $2,500, plus an assembly fee. Caruso also plans to purchase safety gear and a new helmet for Buott, who’s currently using a baseball helmet.
Buott, 75, has been collecting cans and bottles since retiring from the French Creek Seafood market. “I’ve seen this man ride his bike in the snow, in the rain; and not only does he pick up cans, but he also picks up garbage along the way,” Caruso said. “He’s a good community member. I feel it’s important we help those community members who are proactive, who are good citizens in the community. Fred, I don’t think, would ever imagine asking for this kind of help, but I think he deserves it.”
Donations can be made at 304 Alberni Highway or www.gofundme.com/fred039s-electric-bike.
Island Self Storage facilities feature solar panels, drive-up units, and a retail store that sells moving and packing supplies.
Parksville Qualicum News, New Fundraising Campaign Started to Help Get Parksville Senior an Electric Trike