A Bicycle for Bradley
A young boy’s sorrow turns to joy when he is granted a special wish
WHEN OUR SON BRADLEY WAS TEN, the new bicycle he had received earlier that year was stolen. Owning a bike was a big deal to our children when they were little. They spent hours and hours, day after day, on their bikes, riding up and down the footpath, and at the front of the house. We also rode together as a family a lot. Bicycling was a great way to get the kids out of the house and into the fresh air without spending any money.
Bradley had discovered that his bike had been stolen from our backyard in suburban Campbelltown, South Australia, when he and his sister went outside for a morning ride. He couldn’t believe that someone would do this. Strangely, none of the other bikes were touched and nothing else was missing.
He got a large piece of cardboard from his dad’s shed, painted a sign begging for the bike to be returned, and tied the sign to the letterbox. The following morning, when I went out to collect the mail, I found a white
Carolyn Pape works in education and is the mother of three beautiful children. She has a Labrador and a cat that believes he’s a dog. She enjoys keeping fit by doing yoga, pilates and running.
envelope with the magical words, “Buy yourself a new bike”. It took me a little while to register what it was inside it. It was a $100 banknote.
We were very touched that someone had the heart to do this. We’ve never been able to thank the person but we suspect that it may have been one of our wonderful neighbours. Bradley painted a big “Thank you” on the sign and we left it outside for a couple of weeks afterwards in case it was someone who drove down our street.
A delighted Bradley was able to buy a new bike. As the years went on, the bikes became bigger and more expensive but remained just as important for those family bike rides. Now the kids have grown up and cars have replaced their bikes. Bradley is 25. Sometimes I miss the days when receiving a bicycle was the best thing in the world to them.
All these years later we are still grateful to that incredibly kind stranger who granted Bradley’s wish. We were a young family with three little children and it meant a lot to us. We still talk about it and, even now, wonder who our benefactor was.
Share your story about a small act of kindness that made a huge impact. Turn to page 5 for details on how to contribute and earn cash.