Just last week in Branson, Missouri, a young girl received a unique gift that brings her joy and gives me hope. It was a creation by a thoughtful stranger, Randy Lourenco. A specially designed bicycle allows the young rider in her wheelchair access to riding.
Now Aaliyah Delgado can enjoy a common childhood experience thanks to Lourenco’s gift. Aaliyah’s mother described the dream-come-true as amazing and one that she never ever expected anybody to do — let alone strangers.
What led Lourenco to become the custom bike builder in this story? Why did he take action to make a difference in a child’s life? He explains his interest, “I couldn’t imagine not riding, so when I heard this story, I just… had to jump on it.”
Aaliyah’s mom first had an idea for a bike with a special sidecar to accomodate her daughter in her wheelchair. After sharing her idea with a friend, it happened to be passed on to Lourenco.
He explained, “That’s how it all started, and… I just felt like I was supposed to do this. Everything worked out. It’s unreal.”
His labor of love could be called a joint effort, because he was able to use parts from a friend who passed away last year. Other helpers were Wheeler Metal for parts and Maaco for a free paint job.
Aaliyah’s mom says of the collaboration, “It’s amazing how everybody’s little part… came together for my baby. You know, it’s pretty incredible.”
Lourenco’s actually doing that which he felt he was “supposed to do” speaks hope to me. So does giving by others to bring joy to a child. Such acts of kindness that share hope and bring joy are blessings.
Aaliyah’s mom perfectly describes her daughter as a “blessed little girl, that’s for sure.”
How many times have I felt I was supposed to do something but didn’t? Was my choice to neglect doing a good deed the cause of someone missing out on joy… hope… a blessing? I’m thankful Randy Lourenco was an example for me and acted to share hope.
“And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” (Hebrews 13: 16)
“Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people….” (Galatians 6: 9, 10)
“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests but also for the interests of others.” (Philippians 2: 3, 4)
“The purpose of human life is to serve and to show compassion and the will to help others.” (Albert Schweitzer)
“Do something wonderful; people may imitate it.” (Albert Schweitzer)
“Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride.” (John F. Kennedy)
“When the spirits are low, when the day appears dark, when work becomes monotonous, when hope hardly seems worth having, just mount a bicycle and go out for a spin down the road without thought on anything but the ride you are taking.” (Arthur Conan Doyle)
“Next to a leisurely walk I enjoy a spin on my tandem bicycle. It is splendid to feel the wind blowing in my face and the springy motion of my iron steed. The rapid rush through the air gives me a delicious sense of strength and buoyancy, and the exercise makes my pulse dance and my heart sing.” (Helen Keller)
“I don’t ride a bike to add days to my life. I ride a bike to add life to my days.” (unknown)