via Facebook, Getty Images
Dillion Doyle, a 13-year-old boy from Rockland, MA, is like a lot of kids in that the first thing he does when gets home from school is head straight outside to ride his bike. Then Dillon, who has autism, happily rides his red three-wheel bicycle--a gift from his last birthday and the first bike to allow him to balance on his own--around the neighborhood, waving hello to his friends.
But last week, Doyle was in for a shock when he went to his family's shed and found his favorite toy missing. With Dillon was having trouble understanding what had happened, neighbors turned out to help search, but the family ended up at the local police station to report the theft. His distraught mom, Jeanne Doyle, also posted on Facebook about what happened--and that's when something amazing began happening.
Her post went viral, and help began to pour in from as far away as Florida. A Philadelphia man offered to buy the family a new storage shed for his next bike; a local elderly woman wanted to give him her bike. But perhaps the sweetest helper of all? One young girl from his neighborhood tried to give him all the money she had just gotten from celebrating her First Holy Communion--an overwhelmingly kind offer that just blew the family away.
Then, Dillon’s Special Olympics soccer coach, Colleen Leonard, generously bought him a brand new version of the exact bike. It seemed like his story was getting a happy ending--but things were about to get even better.
The police called with an update: A local pawnshop owner had seen Dillon's story and realized that he had unknowingly purchased the bike on the day it was stolen. The family happily returned to the station to get Dillon's original bike back, which thrilled him to no end. (He plans to give the new bike to a friend on his special Olympics team.)
How's that for a happy ending? We're so glad Dillon is smiling again--but even happier to know what an awesome community did to support him.