A bus driver mobilized friends and family to rally around a woman with special needs who fell victim to an unfortunate incident.
Sylvie Pelesasa, a bus driver in Washington state, recently noticed one of her regular passengers Lori Hiles, who has special needs and is partially deaf, didn't have her usual bike with her, according to a Facebook post from the driver. When Pelesasa asked Hiles what happened to her bike, which is specially outfitted to fit her needs, the passenger became emotional.
"She started crying, 'Somebody took my bike. I can't understand why they would take my bike,'" Pelesasa told KING5 News.
After hearing about what happened to Hiles, Pelesasa felt compelled to help. So she reached out to friends on social media as well as a local Goodwill to raise money to buy a new bike for Hiles, KOMO News reported. Late last month, with the help of the donations, Pelesasa went to the shop Bike Tech and purchased a new ride to fit Hiles' needs.
The generous gesture delighted the passenger.
"No doubt the smile on her face while riding around in the parking lot of Bike Tech showed just how much we touched her heart," Pelesasa wrote in a Facebook post. "It was priceless and brought tears to all our eyes."
Pelesasa explained that Hiles used her bike to get around, often riding to church or Goodwill to volunteer, KOMO News reported. When Hiles explained that someone had stolen her bike, Pelesasa was very affected.
"I'm driving down Pacific Ave. and I start crying because I'm upset. I know how it feels to be violated in that way," the driver told KING 5 News. "l've been stolen from, and for somebody that has challenges or special needs it's even more devastating, so I just told her, 'Don't worry, I will make sure you get a bike.'"
So the bus driver took to Facebook and asked friends for donations to go toward a bike that Hiles could easily lift. She also specified that the bike needed a wide seat and a basket in the front.
People pitched in to help Hiles and donated more than $400 to Pelesasa's cause. After the visit to Bike Tech, Hiles ended up with a bike that has wider pedals, a basket, lights and a water bottle, KOMO News reported. Hiles also got a new helmet.
Since she received her bike, it seems Hiles has been in a much more cheerful mood. All thanks to one caring bus driver's actions.
"I picked up Lori today on my route. WOW, her smile couldn't have gotten bigger," Pelesasa wrote in a Facebook post. "There she stood with her new bike waiting for the bus to show up. She kept saying, 'I'm so happy ... I love my bike. Thank you, thank you for my bike.'"
Also on HuffPost: