Stories like these do the heart good.

Local kids were asked to design a logo for this year’s Paddle for Paws, an annual kayak and paddleboard excursion off Cudjoe Key whose entry fees benefitted the Florida Keys SPCA.

Michael Barrett, a 10-year-old fifth grader at Poinciana Elementary School, won first place for his drawing of a cat and a dog paddling a kayak together.

Michael Barrett, right, donates the bike he won in an art content to Keion Hodges at the Boys & Girls Club in Key West. CONTRIBUTED

What did he win? A brand new bike and helmet, donated by the Big Pine Bicycle Center

“I was so surprised that I won first place and a new bike,” Michael told the Keys Weekly on Jan. 23. “But… I already have a bike, and I just thought there must be a kid who needs it way more than me. So I decided to donate it.”

With help from his parents, Michael contacted the local Boys & Girls Club, which provides safe and affordable after-school care for more than 100 local families with school-aged kids.

Keion Hodges beams as he takes his new bike for a spin after thanking Michael Barrett for donating it to him. CONTRIBUTED

On Jan. 23, Michael and his mom took the bike to the club’s headquarters at Bayview Park, where Michael gave it to a beaming Keion Hodges. 

“He seemed really, really happy,” Michael said. “It’s a great bike. And I think he had wanted a bike for Christmas, but didn’t get one. I just knew someone else needed a bike more than me. So I felt really good about giving it away.”

Mandy Miles drops stuff, breaks things and falls down more than any adult should. An award-winning writer, reporter and columnist, she's been stringing words together in Key West since 1998. "Local news is crucial," she says. "It informs and connects a community. It prompts conversation. It gets people involved, holds people accountable. The Keys Weekly takes its responsibility seriously. Our owners are raising families in Key West & Marathon. Our writers live in the communities we cover - Key West, Marathon & the Upper Keys. We respect our readers. We question our leaders. We believe in the Florida Keys community. And we like to have a good time." Mandy's married to a saintly — and handy — fishing captain, and can't imagine living anywhere else.