Meet March “Do the Right Thing” Winner: Carlos Dempsey
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — A Chattanooga man is making holidays throughout the year extra special for Tennessee Valley children in need.
Carlos Dempsey has spent the past 33 years delivering bicycles and winter coats to these kids.
That’s why he’s this month’s Do the Right Thing winner.
When Dempsey isn’t working at Callahan Mechanical Contractors, he spends his time helping others – whether it’s people he doesn’t know, or people he does know.
“A good friend of mine, a guy I grew up with, he’s had some real bad luck, had pneumonia and a serious infection, had to take one of his legs off, and when he gets out of the hospital we’re going to have a fundraiser for him,” Dempsey said. “We’re going to do some work at his house for him and make it more wheelchair accessible, and things like that. There’s always something.”
“He’ll give you the shirt off of his back. I mean, he’s great,” said Jenny Davis, Dempsey’s coworker. “He’s always willing to step up and help out in any way he can.”
Davis says Carlos goes above and beyond collecting and delivering bikes for children in need.
“He gets phone calls all year long. People come by here. They bring bikes. They bring donations,” she said.
“It started out just at Christmas, but needy kids have birthdays, and their parents have been laid off, or one parent has died or something. I always try to help them out if I can. That’s what this [money] will go for,” Dempsey said.
And Carlos says he enjoys seeing the kids’ smiling faces when they ride their new bikes.
“A long time ago I was one of those kids,” he said. “My father died when I was 12, and the only bike I ever got was, he died a month before Christmas, and I got a new bike for Christmas, and it was the only one I ever had. And I just decided back then that if I was ever able, I’d pay it forward, so I’ve been doing it for about 30 years now.”