“I know you like making dreams come true for kids, and I wondered if you could help me?” This was the cracking opening line from a Franklin woman when she approached a local bike shop, to see if they could help with a challenge she was facing. We can’t identify this awesome woman, nor the child she was trying to help, as their identities need to remain hidden due to the child’s background. But this is a story worth sharing, so let’s call the woman Marie, and we’ll call the lovely young girl Aroha.
Like too many children in New Zealand, Aroha has had a terribly difficult childhood and is not able to live with her birth family. She is now settling into a proper home environment with Marie, and for the first time in her life, Aroha is at a point where she can now open her eyes to all of the great opportunities available for children in the area. She heard about the Pukekohe Raceway Kids Obstacle Duathlon, and through her school, knows some of the kids who are taking part in the event. She was keen to have a go, but didn’t have a bike.
When you’re a kid like Aroha, you want a champion woman like Marie on your side. “I am never too proud to ask for help for kids who are struggling,” states Marie. “I had heard that Noel at the Sunset Cycle shop in Waiuku was a good guy, so I went in and just asked him if he could help.”
And help he did. Noel has provided Aroha with a great bike to borrow. More than that though, he’s fitted it to her so it’s sized perfectly, and he’s given her some training too. Aroha is now out and about training her socks off. Marie adds, “Shortly after Noel’s kind gesture, I was talking with a family who are new to the area, and I told them the story of what Noel had done. They said they felt blessed to be living in a place where things like this happen.”
Noel doesn’t know we’ve written this story, but we know lots of people out there, know Noel. So next time you see Noel, let him know he’s a good guy, and that his good deed has been celebrated. And if you need your bike fixed or serviced, or if you need a new bike, maybe pop in and see Noel – we hear he’s a good guy.