Montgomery County community gives back to man who had bike stolen

BLUE BELL, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Residents in Montgomery County are coming to the aid of a man who had his bike stolen.

Many residents in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania recognize Howard, a man of few words, with a big heart. Howard has been riding his bike from Blue Bell to Ambler for decades, in a neon green coat.

"Just a simple wave from him, I mean his smile just could make your day," said Katie Geib, who lives in Howard's neighborhood.

Geib noticed Howard walking without his bike, and immediately knew something was wrong.

"We found out that his bike was actually stolen from him and as a group, we wanted to raise money to help him," said Geib.

Geib created a Facebook post when she saw him walking without his bike, which garnered hundreds of comments from people sharing memories they had with Howard, who had stopped by to give them a smile or a hug while on his bike.

Through the Facebook post, around $400 was collected to get Howard a new bike, however, Debby Hite had a spare bike in her garage which she donated to him. All of the money raised went to Howard, including a shopping trip to get him new gloves and Eagles and Sixers lanyards.

Many people in the Blue Bell and Ambler community have referred to Howard as the "unofficial mayor of Ambler." A lot of residents said they remembered him riding by Wissahickon High School when they were students.

"Seeing him after school, roll down your window, 'Howard how we doing?,'" said Noah Katz, who is a former Wissahickon High School student. "He would just either scream from across the street or come over and see if you were having a good day. And if he's having a good day, then you've got to be having a good day."

Howard said he was very happy when he got a new bike to ride.

Geib said she hopes this can lead to more people showing kindness in their community.

"It really pulls at my heartstrings, we were a super small factor, but glad we could bring a community together to help somebody like that," said Geib.
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