Have you ever had a bike stolen? Maybe it wasn’t your bike that was stolen, but you probably at least know what it feels like to be robbed of something you rely on heavily. So did Amanda Needham. Amanda’s bike was stolen from outside her Brooklyn brownstone last week Saturday. What’s surprising is that despite the theft of the bike, it’s what Amanda did after her bike was stolen that has people talking — she left the thief a note.
Amanda didn’t just leave a little note on her front door, no, she went big. Much bigger. Amanda left a huge note across the front gate of her brownstone — an 8-by-3-foot note to be exact! Amanda wanted to make sure the thief and her entire neighborhood knew she meant business.
The note in question was written as follows:
“To the person who stole my bicycle I hope you need it more than I do. It was $200 used, and I need it to get to work. I can’t afford another one. Next time, steal a hipster’s Peugeot. Or not steal! PS: Bring it back.”
Amanda left the note up for seven days. It was during those seven days that Amanda realized the beauty in humanity and the citizens of New York were responsible. A few days after the sign had been up, the following Wednesday, Amanda received the first knock on her door. Standing on her brownstone and carrying a teen-sized blue mountain bike were two African American young men.
“Are you the one who got your bike stolen?” Asked one of the men, who introduced himself as Michael. “I had that happen to me as well, and I had this bike lying around, so I figured you might be able to use it.” A gesture of this sort was the last thing Amanda expected when she posted her sign — but yet here she was. For Amanda, it wasn’t about the size or the quality of the bike offered, it was the pure gesture in itself.
However, the positivity well hadn’t dried up just yet. Flash forward to Saturday, Amanda’s sign had been up exactly one week when she received another buzz at her door. This time, a kind Hispanic woman stood before her eager to offer any help to Amanda that she could. “I don’t know much about bicycles,” said the woman, “but if I find one, I’ll bring it to you!” She made sure to give Amanda a big hug before she left.
Before Amanda could even make it back upstairs to her apartment, her buzzer rang again — another admirer of her sign. This time, an older gentleman. He mentioned to her that he’d taken a picture of the sign and he just couldn’t stop thinking about it, he’d even posted the picture to Instagram and decided he had to do something. So what did he do?! He offered to buy Amanda’s sign for exactly what she’d mentioned she paid for her bike — $200!
The gentleman’s name was Steve Powers, he was an art dealer who saw more than just yellow letters painted on cardboard, Steve saw art. Along with a friend, Robert Young, the two each invested $100 in the sign and were more than happy to take it off of Amanda’s hands!
Now, Amanda’s sign, posted out of anger and frustration, has turned into somewhat of a little light of hope in humanity for her and her fellow New Yorkers. She even went a step further to help keep the wave of generosity going and is getting the blue mountain bike that was given to her fixed — in exchange for setting up a local small business owners social media accounts — in hopes that she can continue the #KarmaCycle.