Logan resident Josh Barnett says he is humbled and shocked at the response he’s received after posting a picture on Facebook of local celebrity Brent Carpenter sporting a black eye.
Many of you will recognize Carpenter. He has been riding his bike on the streets of Cache Valley for decades, smiling, waving and honking his horn.
Carpenter showed up at Barnett’s insurance office on Friday with a black eye, and, according to Barnett, an empty wallet.
“It looked like Brent hurt himself and he’s asking for money,” said Barnett. “So I thought, well I’m going to help out and figure out the details later on.”
Barnett immediately gave the 70 year-old disabled man $20 and before he could get the whole story on the injury, started a GoFundMe online fundraiser that grew from an initial goal of $1,000 to 10 times the desired amount within a matter of hours, with over 500 individual donations.
“My phone is ringing off the hook,” according to Barnett. “My wife and I are getting teary eyed over it, because we both have a soft spot in our hearts for the disabled.”
Since the initial post Friday morning, Barnett was able to talk with Carpenter’s sisters and found out that his black eye is the result of a recent fall on the ice.
“At first I didn’t know any of this,” said Barnett. “All I knew is, this is Brent and you help Brent and find out what’s going on later. Now that we’ve found out, we’re still going to help him.”
Barnett said he plans on using the money he’s raised to pay Carpenter’s rent for the next couple of months. He said he has spoken to Carpenter’s family about the fundraiser.
“They approve of this fundraiser and appreciate all the love and support for Brent! Brent is doing ok. He has many friends and family that look after him. Thanks again everyone for your love and support for Brent.”
In the past, Carpenter has participated in the annual “Bike With Brent” charity fundraiser. The event raised money for Cache Employment and Training Center (CETC).
The CETC helped Carpenter years ago with work training and later helped him get a job at Utah State University.