FORT FAIRFIELD, Maine — Thanks to the generosity of 7-year-old Fort Fairfield resident Daniel Hood, a local child might soon become the owner of a brand new bicycle.
At the end of the school year Daniel Hood won a bicycle during a special drawing at Fort Fairfield Elementary School. He received the bicycle because the student who was the official winner already had a bike and decided that someone else deserved to have a new one.
But Daniel, too, already had a bicycle at home that was in good shape. So he decided to donate the new bicycle to the Fort Fairfield Police Department in hopes that they will find a child who does not have a bicycle or is in need of a better one.
“It wasn’t dirty and it worked really well,” Daniel Hood said, about why he chose to give away the new bicycle instead of keeping it for himself. “I thought it would be nice to give it to someone else so that they can have it.”
Since June 17 the bicycle and accompanying helmet have been stored at the police department on 18 Community Center Drive, awaiting the child who will hop on and ride down the road full of excitement and joy.
Police chief Shawn Newell said that the department has given away several new bicycles over the past few years on behalf of children who have won the bicycles but felt that other children would be more deserving and appreciative. Daniel’s donation marks the first bicycle giveaway this year.
Newell noted that he is still on the lookout for a child for whom a new bicycle would truly brighten their day. He remembered one poignant day last year when he came across such a child.
“I was driving and I saw a boy pushing a bicycle that was pretty beat-up and rusted. I pulled over and walked up to him and asked, ‘Is that your bicycle?’” Newell said. “When he said ‘yes,’ I told him, ‘Wait right there because we have a new bicycle at the station and it’s yours.’”
Recently Newell shared Daniel’s story on the police department’s Facebook page in an effort to find the right owner for the latest bicycle. Daniel’s father, Jake Hood, said that his son’s kind spirit has not surprised him.
“Daniel has always been the type of kid who would give the shirt off his back to someone even if he had to be the one who was cold,” Jake Hood said. “I think kids like him show that there’s still hope for the world.”
Daniel said he hopes that his story inspires other children his age to think about others first instead of themselves. He also has a simple but important message for whoever ends up with the bicycle.
“You’re welcome,” he said.