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A woman receives a turkey from Roosevelt Harris and Art Davis outside her home in San Bernardino.
SAN BERNARDINO - Art Davis went from house to house Friday in his childhood neighborhood, giving out turkeys, hams and bicycles.

Davis, 71, had grown up in the area of Central and Washington avenues, an unincorporated pocket of the city east of the Orange Show grounds.

"Happy holidays," he would say when residents opened the door.

Many recognized him and were glad to see him.

Davis, who is retired from a successful career at General Motors, lives in Walnut.

He finds satisfaction in giving back to the community where he was raised.

He's been doing it for 25 years.

Along with his wife, Fredda, who grew up in the same neighborhood, Davis drove from house to house, his truck piled high with 14 bicycles for less fortunate children and 50 hams and turkeys for older residents.

On Ennis Street, where he unloaded a pink Barbie bicycle for Melody Maris, the 6-year-old grinned and said, "I'm happy."

Melody's brother Darwin, 12, also received a new bike he thought was "cool."

Giving out the bikes to kids at Christmas is important to the local philanthropist.

"That's what you're supposed to do," he said, adding that giving back is a way to honor the way his parents raised him.

He purchases the food and bicycles with his own money.

One man was incredulous that he didn't have to pay for the turkey.

Davis was aided in his deliveries by his cousin, Roosevelt Harris, pastor of the nearby Living Word of God Ministries.

When Christopher Dean was given his ham, he said he was very appreciative.

"This is a forgotten part of San Bernardino," Dean said.


Reach Michel via email, find her on Twitter @michelnolan, or call her at 909-386-3859.