Courtney and Harly Forbes made news last week, when they were victimized by a bike thief — who then returned their tandem bicycle with a note asking for forgiveness after stories came out about how the couple, who are developmentally delayed, had relied on it to get around.
After the theft, the Forbeses were embraced by their Vancouver, Wash., community. A donation program was set up to help them buy a new bike. They were also given a $4,000 custom-made tandem, by a couple who said they didn't ride it enough to justify having it.
After we wrote about their story, Kimberlee Turner, who is Courtney's mother, got in touch with an update that also explains what the couple plans to do with the money that was donated.
Turner says the young couple will use part of the money to fix up their new tandem a bit, and part to repair the returned bike, which she says was "severely damaged."
After it has been repaired, they'll donate their old bicycle to the Washington State School for the Blind, which is in Vancouver.
"Don Joling, a pro cyclist, is donating the time to repair both bikes, we just need to purchase the parts," Turner says. "The kids were really excited about the idea they came up with."
In an interview with The Columbian, Joling says he often sees students from the School for the Blind riding past his house on tandems, with a teacher steering the way.
As for the Forbeses, they see the donation of the returned bike as a chance to give back to the community that reached out to them.
"To the person who returned our bike, we do forgive you," Harly said, in a statement he read on his porch Friday. "If it wasn't for you returning the bike, we would never have been able to pay it forward."
Turner writes, "I am so proud of the kids and I just wanted you to know the rest of the story."