Twins Sophie and Abby Javernig have seen the best and worst of human nature in the past couple of months – they have been victims of crime, but also beneficiaries of extraordinary generosity.
Mum Danielle said the girls, aged 11 years, saved up for months, putting aside birthday and Christmas money, so they could buy their dream scooter.
“Everyone in the family had given them money,” Mrs Javernig said.
The girls did not have enough money to buy two, so decided they would share one.
Mrs Javernig found an electric scooter on an online marketplace. It was a Zero 9 electric scooter, the same make and model her sister had bought and recommended.
The family paid for it and collected it in person, not realising it had been stolen. But its owner had been keeping an eye out for it online and alerted police when the advertisement appeared.
Soon after, Mrs Javernig received a call from the police.
“We had to give it back. The girls were devastated. I think they thought we were joking, because we play tricks on them and they’re only 11 and didn’t think it was for real,” she said.
Keen to save others from the same misfortune, she posted a warning on a scooter forum which was seen by Corine Lee from Ride Electric at Redcliffe.
She remembered the family, who had previously visited her shop to have the scooter’s flat tyre fixed.
“I thought it was a horrible that happened to them and I also knew what our scooter community was like and thought they would help,” Mrs Lee said.
“I set up the Go Fund Me page and people started donating money. Our supplier found out and offered to donate the scooters instead.”
That supplier is Ian Le Garth from Ride Electric, who is the sole wholesaler and importer of Zero scooters in Australia.
The scooters he gave the girls are valued at almost $1700 each.
Mrs Lee said the money already raised, via the Go Fund Me page, was then rediverted to another customer whose scooter had been stolen.
“I was blown away. I was in shock that people could be so nice and do these things. It restored my faith in people,” Mrs Javernig said.
“We got there and there were balloons tied to the handles, they were beside themselves.”
The girls are now riding the scooters to school each day and have even taught their dog how to sit on them.
Mrs Lee could not be happier with the outcome and is looking forward to seeing more of the family, now they are back on the road and part of the scooter community.
She and husband Mitchel bought their first scooter in February 2020 and decided to open a shop in July.
“We really got into the community, going on rides. There’s a few groups out there. It’s a really good community – people from all walks of life and ages. Everyone gets on because they have that common interest,” she said.
Mr Lee said he was tired of hearing about scooters being stolen and was planning to introduce a dot-matrix system for his customers, so they can be more easily identified and tracked.
Ride Electric Redcliffe is at 132 Sutton St, Redcliffe. Search Ride Electric North Brisbane on Facebook.
Find more local news here