Time and again I talk about being a hero.

It doesn’t take strength.

It doesn’t take money.

It doesn’t matter who you are, where you live or what you’ve been through—you have the ability to be a hero to someone else.

How do I know?

I watched an 8 year old boy be a hero to his little sister last Saturday.

The Boy With A Plan

When Simon’s little sister was given a hand me down bike, she was SO excited. The other kids in the house had bikes or scooters, so she was delighted to have a bike too. The only challenge was, the front tire and chain needed to be replaced.

Simon loves his sister, so he decided to take action. He would find a way to raise the money and get Carley’s bike fixed so he could teach his sister to ride and they could do more as a family.

Discussing his plan with his mother, the house came alive with baking and artistic talents.

Signs were made, brownies from heaven produced, as well as lemonade and caramel popcorn balls.

With his older sister to keep him safe from strangers and mom’s help with the van, they drove to the corner of the main street and set up camp.

Watching from my office window, I have to say that I cringed the few times I saw cars whizzing past Simon without stopping.

He’s gonna get discouraged, I thought.

Then again, this is good for him to learn.

For what I felt, as a loving parent was a small eternity…he waited.

At the top of his lungs, he started shouting so loud I could hear him all the way from behind closed doors…

“I HAVE POPCORN…I HAVE BROWNIES…I HAVE LEMONADE—COME HELP ME FIX MY SISTERS BIKE!!

Then something cool happened.

Someone stopped in their car.

Then another.

…and another.

The Wave of Kindness

What blew me away was the wave of people that followed…almost unceasingly, for nearly 4 hours.

I was supposed to be writing, but I couldn’t help being engrossed in the activities at the street corner.

These were my kids!

About an hour in, there was a lull…and as if in answer to my wondering how Simon was feeling, he turned towards our house and threw his arms into the air in triumph.

Always trying to stay connected to friends and family, I posted the events as they happened over Facebook.

I took pictures with my cell phone and posted those as well.

People stopped out of curiosity.

They stopped to give donations.

Some stopped just to chat with a boy who wanted to help his little sister so much, he was willing to shout from the street corner.

Even WalMart Got Involved

The day waned and the total continued to grow until Simon realized he had collected a lot more than he needed for a tire and new chain.

$5 grew into $25, which blossomed into $40, $50, $65…and up to $89 in cash.

That was after he paid back his siblings and mom their money which he used for change.

“Dad…I have enough to buy Carley a NEW bike!!” he exclaimed.

It was awesome.

But that’s not the whole story.

…Walmart got word of what Simon did and when he and his mother arrived, the manager was waiting for them in the Payson store*.

“We think you did such an awesome job, we want to give you and Carley some fun things to go with your new bike!”

It was a fantastic experience for everyone involved.

Lessons Learned

Simon and I have talked about this a great deal over the last couple of days and I couldn’t be more pleased with his views and gratitude.

For those parents out there, is there ANYTHING more rewarding than seeing your child express true, heartfelt gratitude?

I think not.

Simon wanted to make sure he showed his appreciation to all the neighbors who stopped and helped make his hopes a reality.

Great things can be accomplished by seemingly small efforts, but one thing is sure…

Those with loving hearts can change the world around them for the better.

…way to go, son.

*Sadly, because of politics, the wonderful people at the WalMart store were not allowed to be in pictures or have their names used. A policy I think did more harm than good in this story…because it would have been great too but we all want to thank them nonetheless for their kindness and generosity!

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