Only on 14 News: Theft victim surprised with new bike at Ivy Tech

Only on 14 News: Theft victim surprised with new bike at Ivy Tech
Published: Sep. 28, 2023 at 1:03 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - An Ivy Tech student got a little help with his transportation to and from classes Thursday.

It was an ordinary day outside of Ivy Technical Community College.

It was even an ordinary day for most students inside.

For one student, Michael Candler, it was a day he’ll never forget.

“I was trying to figure out a way to show how big this is, how much this affects me,” Candler said.

He says his bike was also stolen from his porch a few weeks ago.

“I kind of had a mini panic attack just because I basically rode it every day,” Candler said.

It was how he got to school, work and anywhere he needed to go.

When one of his professor’s and classmates found out, they knew they had to help.

“We felt horrible for him. Who deserves that? Who gets that?” One of Candler’s professor’s Scott H. O’Daniel said.

Instead of sitting in class feeling pity, they sprung into action, all pitching in to get him a new bike.

“I think it helps all of us to understand we all have power. We all have the ability to do things that can affect positive change,” O’Daniel said.

In the middle of class, in room 256, they surprised Candler with his new ride.

A gesture that may have seemed small, to Candler --

“Is so big, like I’m even shaking right now,” he said.

It’s obvious to see how this benefits Candler, but his professor hopes the whole class took something from it.

“We know we didn’t change the world by this one action,” O’Daniel said. “You do one thing which affects another change which affects more people and it just keeps going and going. I think more than anything else, in higher education we try to do well but we can’t forget to do good.”

The good that came from it was easy to see on Candler’s face.

“I feel cared about by somebody other than my mom or my grandma or my little brother. I have no words to describe how thankful I am,” he said.