By Terri Lynn Oldham House
There is nothing quite like a 7-year-old boy’s love for his bike.
It was natural that when Bodhi King celebrated his birthday weekend at the Town Park Athletic Field with friends and family, his bike went along with him to the party.
When his family was leaving the park to return home, it was discovered that Bodhi’s purple Fit Misfit BMX bike was missing.
His parents reached out to friends on social media for help in recovering the bike, which had been his Christmas present.
Those friends reached out to other friends, sharing the post about Bodhi’s bike.
The SUN shared his mom’s post to the newspaper’s Facebook group, where it was spotted by Susan Sorce.
Susan and her husband, Ken, live in the Aspen Springs subdivision and they have a Facebook group known as Aspen Springs CommUNITY.
“I just wanted people out here to know to keep an eye out for that bike. A lot of the people out here take their kids to town to play and I just wanted to let them know what had happened and to keep an eye out for that bike,” wrote Susan about why she shared the missing bike post in her Aspen Springs group.
Susan is just that sort of person, providing information to the group in order to help others. In her caring fashion, she also shares posts about lost pets, accidents, fires and such with her friends and neighbors.
The group is pretty popular in her subdivision and you will find people helping each other all the time in myriad ways.
As a matter of fact, Roper the dog was happily reunited with his family in no time, thanks to a post in the group the same day that Susan posted about the missing bike.
As social media goes, it didn’t take long for those in the Aspen Springs CommUNITY group to start expressing their sadness and disdain over Bodhi’s stolen BMX bike.
Jan Havens wrote: “Takes a real quality person to steal a kids bike. What an ____.”
We’ll let you fill in the blank there.
Anne Jo Lee Hill exclaimed “Just, wow, who steals a kids bike?!”
It didn’t take long for Elle Craig to redirect the subject from who would do this to a child and pose the question: “If it doesn’t turn up who wants to pitch in and buy a new one for this young man? Isn’t that what CommUnity is about?
“Let’s make his Birthday better than this incident. Does anyone know his mother?”
Sandy Freeman was the first person to reach out and chip in to help buy Bodhi a new bike.
She was quickly followed by a pledge from Niara Terela Isley. Then, Darrin Strickland, Becky Woods Ziminsky and Cindi Galaty Galabota all chimed in, wanting to give to the cause.
Steven Keno wasn’t sheepish when he wrote: “Count me in. Lets show them how the community can come together.”
Jason Okash stepped up with $40 to help a kid get a new bike.
Ken and Susan chipped in, too, with Ken exclaiming, “I love our Community!”
It was looking very much like this group was going to make sure that a 7-year-old boy would receive the best gift ever.
Chris Torres asked the group for confirmation that Bodhi would be getting another bike.
Others were determined to keep looking for the missing bike.
Lori Ayers shared that she had asked her teens to ask their friends to keep an eye out for Bodhi’s bike in town.
Others shared their own experience and were determined to help make a difference.
“Who can I give my support and $ to….. I’m in!!!!!! My daughter had her bike stolen once…. We found it later at the bottom of a bridge. All busted up of course. It broke her heart,” Deborah Lubeck added. “This is unbelievable that someone would be so callous and cruel to take a kids bike. On his birthday no less!!!! Despicable!!!!”
When Elle came back online later, she was pleased at what had transpired in her absence, “Wow! I’m back online. You all are amazing! This is wonderful!”
In a matter of hours, this group of Aspen Springs residents had lived up to the Facebook group’s name: Aspen Springs CommUNITY.
A couple of group members reached out to Bodhi’s mom for more information.
“You all have restored my faith in my home town,” Ivy King responded in a Facebook message. “Just knowing there are people left like you all makes my heart happy …
“Please extend our thanks to all the Springers for even thinking about this! I’m crying!! Just sending me this is enough.
“Side note: his auntie had offered yesterday to take care of a bike for him.
“I am so grateful for all of you to even think of him. Absolutely wonderful.”
Ivy included a few heart emojis in her message to express her love for the kind gesture.
“It’s really is ‘faith restoring’ to see this kind of love and support,” wrote Becky Woods Ziminsky. “…When people want to know more about this area I am always proud to talk about our little community within a community.
“The hearts of you, all my neighbors, is refreshing in this crazy world. This incident isn’t about the bike anymore as a family member stepped in but for Bodhi to know for every ‘bad egg’ out there there are 10 more good ones that will step up and stand up for what’s right! – Bravo [Aspen Springs]!!”
You might think that is where the story ended. It is not.
Elle asked her friends, “So, Tomorrow I’d like to go get a Birthday card and I’ll contact each of you who said they’d like to pitch in. Given that his Aunt is buying his bike I thought we could get him a gift card. I’m open to any other suggestions. Becky Woods Ziminsky, would you mind helping me in coordinating this?”
The group decided to reach out to Maria Olsen at the Turkey Springs Trading Post to allow people to drop off donations/gifts for Bodhi and to have them sign a card at her store.
Justin Timmerman, Linda Gunnels, Annie Stone and Christopher Gray joined in to support the effort, with Maria and David at the trading post also contributing to the gift fund.
What a difference one community can make in restoring one’s faith in humanity after it was stolen on a 7-year-old boy’s birthday, along with his bike.
The story brings to mind one of our favorite quotes by Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”