Stolen bike at the heart of generous donation
AFTER experiencing the heartbreak of her beloved bike being stolen, a Ballina girl has decided to pay it forward by donating her old bike to another deserving child.
Earlier this week 8-year-old Harlym Parkinson was gifted a brand new bike after the one she received for her birthday this month was stolen.
Harlym's mother Anna took to Facebook two-weeks ago when her daughter's first big-girl bike was lost less than a week after having it.
"I put a picture of her on her bike on the Ballina Crimes Facebook page and I got a huge response from that," Mrs Parkinson said.
"Not only had people sited it but they had left beautiful and encouraging messages - banding together to find it for my daughter."
What the Parkinson's didn't know was that a few members of the community were working together to purchase not one but two bikes for their daughters.
"(They) got together and sent me a message to say to meet them with my family at Sunrise Cycles in Ballina," Mrs Parkinson said.
"They presented not one but both my daughters a bike, (Harlym) got a brand-new bike and (Malia) was given a second-hand bike."
Mrs Parkinson said four-year-old Justin Beddoes and his father Rick contributed to the cause because Justin didn't want Harlym to miss out on playing with her sister and friends so close to Christmas.
Two weeks after Harlym Parkinson's bike was reported stolen, Ballina Police located it and returned it to her family.
Mrs Parkinson said it was very upsetting for her daughter to see her bike destroyed but said Harlym came up with a great way to turn something negative into a positive.
"She asked me if we could clean the bike up and donate it to another little child that needs a bike," she said.
"I've placed on Facebook a nomination section and we will go with whoever my daughter feels right."
Mrs Parkinson said her post was never about the bike but rather all the break-ins and other crimes occurring in the community recently.
"There are so many bad things happening - elderly being abused, everything like that," she said
"So this (outcome) was just amazing, like I was getting messages all hours of the night.
"People offering to replace the bike, so people were going way above and beyond and it absolutely blew me away."
Mrs Parkinson said she was so grateful for all the people involved in providing two bikes for her family.
"Good things like this don't happen to people like me often and as a mother nothing has humbled me more than the whole community coming together for my babies.
"I would like to thank Justin and Rick Beddoes, Natasha Goodwin-Cook and family, Blake and Jessica Donovan, Leann Killmore and Craig from Sunrise Cycles.
"You are a true representation of what community is all about."
Rick Beddoes was said to be taking it that one step further by opening discussions about creating a community group willing to fix and repair old bikes to be donated back into the community.
These bikes would be a part of a program called The Ballina Bike Project, and a logo would be attached so they can be identified if stolen.