Generosity repaid: Six-year-old who sneaked out to buy mum a TV gets his own surprise

Published: 19 May 2017

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Six-year-old Raith Barlow sparked a media frenzy on Mother’s Day when he hopped on his bike and left the house to buy his mother a plasma TV from a nearby Aldi store in Geelong.

Armed with 40 cents in his pocket and dressed in his pyjamas, the dedicated son crossed the Princes Highway and the Surf Coast Highway to reach the store, 3 kilometres away.

Police were alerted by the store’s manager and picked up Raith shortly afterwards.

His mother, Stacey Barlow, said Raith didn’t realise the fuss he had kicked up.

“When Raith got home, he gave me a hug and said: ‘Mum, I went to buy you a TV,’” she said.

“It’s hard because he doesn’t grasp how big of a deal it was.”

But one good turn, however naïve, deserves another.

That’s what Brisbane-based businessman Todd Howard and his mates thought when they heard of Raith’s generosity, and decided to surprise the six-year-old with some gifts of his own.

“We thought it was a great story,” Mr Howard said.

“Anyone who’s at that age and can navigate their way to an Aldi three kilometres down the road [deserves] to get some toys out of it.”

Mr Howard and his friends, who hadn’t met Raith or his family previously, donated more than $2000 worth of toys and technology to the six-year-old, delivering the goods personally to the Barlow living room.

Raith, who has autism, received a new iPad and TV packed with learning programs catered for his condition.

“It’s a big shock. It’s amazing that everyone’s paid so much attention to our situation,” Stacey Barlow said.