Generosity on Two Wheels
You know that feeling when you hear a story that makes you smile? My friend Simone* recently shared a beautiful story of generosity that made my week, and I hope it brings joy to yours as well. It all started a few weeks ago when Simone was washing up the dinner dishes and her 10-year-old daughter Grace* ran into the kitchen.
“Mom! Someone stole my bike!” shouted Grace. Doubtful, Simone advised her to take a closer look around the backyard. However, when the girl returned with tears streaming down her face, Simone realized the situation was more serious than she’d thought. Through hitching sobs, Grace admitted that she had forgotten her bike unlocked on the front porch overnight and now it was gone.
The hand-me-down bicycle wasn’t incredibly valuable monetarily, but it was extremely important to Grace. Since the pandemic, riding her bike was among the only ways she could enjoy exercise and sunshine outside. Losing the bike felt like losing her freedom. They filed a police report, and a brief virtual playdate replaced her evening bike ride.
The next morning, out of the blue, Simone received a video call that left her gobsmacked. Apparently, word had gotten around the community overnight, and a generous family whom they knew only through school was calling to offer Grace the bike that their daughter had recently grown out of. The family assured Simone it was in good shape but needed a new innertube for the flat rear tire. Grateful for their generous gift, she told them she’d be happy to make the repair.
The next day, Grace and Simone picked up the bicycle, maintaining a safe social distance as their neighbour propped it on the driveway and stepped back. Simone sanitized hands and handlebars, thanking the man over and over in the hopes that this friendly acquaintance could see how much this bike meant to Grace. “No problem,” he said, smiling.
As they started to wheel the bike away, Simone noticed that the rear tire was moving perfectly. Seeing her surprise, the man added, “I tuned it up for her, and put in a new innertube. I wanted her to be able to ride it right away.” Simone’s throat constricted at this added kindness, and she could just barely get out another “Thank you”. “No problem,” the man repeated, waving goodbye. Grace waved back, smiled, and shouted a final, heartfelt “Thank you so much!”.
Simone’s story reminds me of the many ways we can model generosity within our communities.
I could see tears brimming in Simone’s eyes when she told me the story of Grace’s new bike. She says that each time her daughter rides her bike around the neighbourhood, their entire family thinks of the amazing generosity that made these little adventures possible.
Simone’s story reminds me of the many ways we can model generosity within our communities. From the school friends who heard about the situation and mobilized their neighbourhood “grapevine” to help, to the family who stepped up and donated the bicycle, to the father who took the extra time and money to get it in the best condition possible for its new owner, a whole series of generous choices contributed to Grace’s happy ending. More than just a good news story during the pandemic, these acts of generosity set an example that all of us can strive to reflect in our own lives.
Imagine a world where everyone gives so generously.
*Pseudonyms used to protect the identity of the individuals
Contributed by Barbara Chambers
Director of Communications