EIGHT-year-old Elijah O’Grady has learned a life lesson in the good and evil of human nature in the space of a few days.
Earlier this week his aunt Laureen O’Grady discovered that the bags of pinecones her nephew had been collecting and selling for $3 each at a bus shelter in Kirkstall for about six months had been stolen.
The honesty payment box was also taken.
But Elijah’s luck changed when rectification came in the form of a community donation.
The grade two St Pius pupil’s awestruck classmates looked on as Harvey Norman presented him with the Xbox 360 he had been saving for, plus a Top Gear game.
An overwhelmed Elijah told The Standard he was feeling “everything that’s good” about his sudden acquisition. “I really wasn’t expecting this,” he said. Elijah’s mother Paula said the generous act, which she described as “amazing”, had surprised her.
“I gave him the heads up that something big was going to happen today,” she said.
“I just didn’t tell him what or when.
“We didn’t do it (the article) for anything.”
Miss O’Grady said the past few days had provided an important learning experience for her son. “He’s been taught that there are good and bad people in the world,” she said.
“But he’s also learnt that if you work hard you do get something out of it.”
Harvey Norman’s kind gesture was not isolated, with donation offers and fund-raising appeal proposals to help Elijah flooding into The Standard throughout yesterday.