Community rallies to get new bike for man with autism


GEORGETOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — If you’re from the community of Jenison, you might recognize him as the “Sidewalk Singer.”

JB West has autism — and when his mode of transportation was taken — the community responded.

“It’s the way I get around, that’s for sure,” said JB West.

JB West had something taken from him — something very important to him.

“He always says they know it’s my bike. Nobody’s going to take it,” said Margo West, JB’s mother.

While eating a late lunch Wednesday at the McDonald’s on Baldwin Street in Jenison, someone took JB West’s bike.

“I realized something wasn’t right. I thought it was a joke but I guess if it was it would have been on me,” said JB West.

Enter the community of Jenison. JB West is known to many as the “Sidewalk Singer.”

“We love JB. We love seeing him around town. We see him on the sidewalk, he’s singing,” said Keri Roth. “It’s a rite of passage to see JB patrolling on the streets. He’s got his Lions hat on and we know it’s JB.”

Word and apparently generosity spread quickly in Jenison.

After hearing JB West’s bike had been stolen, Roth started a GoFundMe page Thursday morning. It didn’t take long for the goal to be surpassed.

“It really choked me up, the outpouring of the community,” said Margo West.

Roth will transfer the money raised through the GoFundMe page to JB’s mother Margo. The rest will be put into an account at Village Bike in Jenison to pay for repairs and new tires.

In the meantime, JB West is not giving up on his old bike.

He said he might “take one out one day, take another out the next day. Who knows?”

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