Be considerate! That’s the attitude of the bike shop Mad Dogs and Englishmen in Montecito, which will be giving away one free bike after giving Prince Archie, the son of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, a bike for his fourth birthday.
The company announced the giveaway on Instagram on June 10 and told HELLO! exclusively that they wanted to “take away all the hostility and the anger” that had been directed at them in the two days since they made their kind deed public.
There were some people who were upset that we gave a bike to a person with privilege, but shop owner Jennifer Blevins said, “This is an easy fix.”
We frequently donate bikes to charities, usually around Christmas. As a result of the overwhelming response, people are now also purchasing our clothing or emailing us to make donations for gift cards to be given away alongside the bikes for the charities.
A Banwood Bikes bike, which is currently on display in the company’s Carmel, California, store, is now being given away, but in order to be eligible, “you must demonstrate financial need and be a local in one of the communities where our four shops are located.”
If you are already one of our customers or a friend of the shop, you already know about our philanthropic commitment to the communities where we live. When we can, we take action. The post began, “Always have, always will,” before informing readers that they could “recommend someone in need and if they are chosen we can surprise them with this special gift.”
On June 17, a giveaway will take place.
“We reserve the right to delete any negative or inappropriate comments and/or to disable comments altogether. Kindness and constructive interaction with our customers and the communities we serve are the foundations of our business,” they said.
Following the publication of a letter from Harry and Meghan thanking them for their “thoughtful gift” on Mad Dogs and Englishmen, the criticism started.
The company captioned the post that included the letter, “We hope they don’t mind us sharing this lovely thank you letter we received today.”
We’ll undoubtedly frame and hang the letter on the wall. Jennfer told HELLO!, “But I am the business owner, and I was just so excited because I’m huge fans of the entire royal family. I’m going to make photocopies and put them in a frame in every store. I don’t dislike any of them. I adore them all, and I adore that [Harry and Meghan] are visiting our shop in Montecito.
But Jennifer also talked about the heartache she’s been going through the past 48 hours as a result of internet trolls spreading hate on their social media pages.
This has made me more aware of the suffering they must have endured, said Jennifer.
“I’ve never really felt a lot of empathy for anybody that I consider privileged or very wealthy or very famous — you’ve been blessed and this is part of the trade off — but I have a completely different perspective on that now.”
She continued, “I feel such empathy for people, especially in these situations where there is such extreme love or hate for them.
“I feel both the good and the bad that comes at me, and I try to live a very positive life, and I feel so much of this toxic stuff on such a deep level, and I feel so bad now for anyone in any role, no one deserves that kind of treatment,” the speaker said.
The bicycle is the Rip Rock Coaster 16 Rainbow Flake in Pink and Turquoise, and it is made by the California-based company Specialized. It costs $249.99 at retail.