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A slew of good Samaritans: Bad triggers good

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Friday, May 16, 2014, 8:57 p.m.

In a world where bad news often overshadows the good, the recent story of Elderton's Shawn Blystone is one that, as one of his neighbors suggested, restores our faith in humanity.

Here is a brief recap in case you missed the story: Mr. Blystone is a 28-year-old man with a disability that makes him unable to drive a car. So, to get around town — to the grocery store or post office — he uses an adult-sized tricycle. The bad news came when this vital item in this young man's life was stolen after he parked it on his porch.

The overwhelmingly good news came the day after the theft was reported in the Leader Times. A Kittanning High School graduate — now a businessman in Pittsburgh — read the story and bought Blystone a new bike. Then an anonymous woman in the Elderton area read the story and also bought him a new bike. Others started a fund to buy him a new bike.

The number of phone calls to the Leader Times and borough offices from people wanting to help could easily have led to Blystone having bikes numbering in the double digits. It was a stunning response from communities near and far.

Blystone didn't end up with a dozen bikes. He didn't even end up needing the bikes purchased by the first two good Samaritans. Turns out the bike that was stolen was returned. It is uncertain whether the orders placed for the new bikes can be canceled, or if the tricycles will be delivered and given to others who need them.

Whatever the case, the good news just keeps pedaling along. And it all started with the theft of a tricycle.

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