A Sydney local community has rallied around a young boy who worked hard to save up for an electric bike, only for it to be snatched away from him in a targeted theft.
When Manly 11-year-old Zac asked his mum for an e-bike, they brainstormed how they could make that happen without breaking the bank.
"It's just he and I, so I'm not really in a position so spend more than $3,000 on an e-bike for an 11-year- old," mum Renee Nowytarger told Yahoo News Australia.
Boy created business to save for e-bike
Coming up with a clothing business called Manly 2095, Zac learnt how to build a website on Wix, had shirts and hats printed with the logo he designed and set up a stall at the Manly Markets (sometimes getting help from a friend, who he also paid a wage).
He could be spotted around the area with his brightly decorated garden trolley, advertising his business at rugby games, ocean swims and other local events.
"He's done such a good job of it and really put the effort in," Renee said. "He was at the markets every weekend on both Saturday and Sunday for quite a few months. "It's a long day for an 11-year-old boy — you get there at eight to set up and then you don't pack up until five."
And to top it off, he donated 10 per cent of his profits to children's charity Royal Far West to "give back to the community" and even got the Manly Sea Eagles captain Daly Cherry-Evans involved.
Bike stolen from Sydney home
After all his work, Zac finally saved enough money and proudly bought the brand new bike in January. However it wasn't long until it was stolen in June, along with other possessions from the family's apartment when they were away for a few days.
"They took everything — they took Zac's bike, my e-scooter, they literally just cleaned us out," Renee said.
Unfortunately NSW police have not been able to locate the bike and have closed the investigation.
Community raises more than $2,000
Because so many in the local community were aware of the effort Zac had put into buying his prized bike, a school friend's mother started a GoFundMe campaign to help raise funds to replace it.
Zac's mum said she's been blown away by the "community spirit" that has since come to the fore. "It's very generous of everybody," she admitted.
"He's a really loved kid and a genuinely good human being. The parents say he always comes up and says 'hello, how are you'. So I think that's another reason why the community have backed him.
"What I'd love to do is get the bike and just get everybody that donated together in Manly somewhere and be there when we surprise him. He’ll be blown away."
At the time of writing $2,225 has been raised of the $3,300 target.
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