Boy gifted bike after donations

A Greenwood boy is back to riding a bike after a tattoo shop owner and residents donated $1,800 to buy him a new one.

Last month, a boy was riding his bike near Madison Avenue when he was hit by a car. The accident happened near Endurance Tattoo shop, where tattoo artist and store owner Kyle Helsper was putting up a new sign in his parking lot on a Sunday, when he typically isn’t at work, he said.

Helsper didn’t see the accident but was one of the first people to get to the boy after he was hit, he said. Helsper and another tattoo artist tried to keep the boy calm, even though he was scared, Helsper said.

An ambulance took the boy to a nearby hospital, but Helsper couldn’t stop thinking about him. The boy broke his patella, or kneecap, and had a cast from his shin to his hip.

Helsper wanted to do something to help and noticed that the boy’s bike was destroyed in the accident. His friend suggested they try to raise money to buy him a new bike.

So Helsper set up a day where all proceeds from tattooing would go toward the new bike, he said. Tattoos about half the size of a palm were done for $50, compared to their regular price of $80 to $100, Helsper said.

Helsper and two other tattoo artists did the fundraiser, and word spread through social media, he said.

“It ran the gamut between people who are lifetime tattooers and people who were getting their first tattoo,” Helsper said.

In that one day, about $1,800 was raised, including some people who stopped in just to donate money, Helsper said.

Last week, Helsper went with the boy and his parents to buy a new bike at Indy Cycle Specialist in downtown Indianapolis. The store owner gave the boy 10 percent off, and a helmet was donated by Dick’s Sporting Goods.

“He bought the bike that everybody drools on,” Indy Cycle Specialist owner Scott Irons said.

Irons said he has never seen so many residents rally behind one boy before, with a mission of buying him a new bike, he said.

Despite helping the family, Helsper never even learned the boy’s full name, Helsper said.

The boy’s family declined to be interviewed.