11-year-old gives back after receiving gift from friends

DARBY, Pa. - November 18, 2010

Days after having his wheelchair stolen from his Mt. Airy home, 11-year-old Rasheed Johnson traveled to the Borough's Fresh Start Program to receive an even better one, a shiny red Olympic Top Pro Wheel Chair.

"I've waited all my life to get this chair," Rasheed said.

When they heard of his plight, the operators of Fresh Start told the children they serve in Darby Borough. Borough officials, along with state elected officials and other organizations in Delaware County, organized a fundraiser that raised money to get Rasheed a new one.

"I'm really amazed caused no one imagined that people would do this," Rasheed said.

"I love this community, it's amazing how people can come together when a tragedy happens; it's really amazing and I am blessed and thankful to this community," Rasheed's mother Stacy said.

It is extraordinary for a community which has seen more than its share of suffering and tragedy to reach out to help a boy in Mt. Airy.

"It is definitely our pleasure to do this for him; it is definitely our pleasure to do this for him," Darby Borough Mayor Janice Davis said.

But Rasheed did not come empty-handed. The event was also aimed at giving thanks a week before Thanksgiving, complete with a warm meal for needy children.

"We all cooked and even Rasheed made some sweet potatoes," Fresh Start Program CEO Leslie McGirth said.

He also helped hand out food baskets to needy families.

"This is wonderful and I hope that we can continue doing things for other people," Joyce Goberson of Darby said.

Darby Borough is more often than not in the news for something bad happening; tonight saw a shining city of good will and generosity bringing joy even to a boy who's not even from their own town.

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