Police, Wilsonville Honda care for stranger in need
As Parker Johnstone's Wilsonville Honda recently showed, a random act of kindness can go a long way.
The dealership recently repaired a then homeless woman's car free of charge and in turn extricated her from further hardship and boosted her morale.
The owner of the repaired car, who spoke to the Spokesman anonymously for safety reasons, was shocked to learn that the dealership would fix her car's various damages without remuneration.
"I was just shocked and humbled. It was awesome. I just couldn't believe that they could care so much about a stranger," the woman said.
The incident that led to the damaged car and a man's arrest occurred in November. The man is facing a slew of charges, including assault and harassment. The alleged perpetrator also damaged the women's car — breaking a window, a headlight switch and damaging a rearview mirror.
"My boyfriend attacked me on various occasions and that was the result of one of those occasions," the woman said.
The woman is living paycheck-to-paycheck, and the car was her home and means for navigating to work and other destinations. For her, paying for extensive repairs would have been devastating.
Empathetic of the woman's situation, Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Sergeant Jason Ritter, Deputy Brett Ethington and a few of their colleagues initially agreed to pay for the repairs out of their pockets, a not uncommon gesture, according to Ritter.
"There's so much stuff done under radar — filling cars with gas, buying a meal, getting someone a hotel room for the night. We don't have a pot of cash to go out and do these things. A lot of it is done by deputies and officers. We enjoy spreading holiday cheer," Ritter said.
So they called the Honda Dealership to inquire about the price. But instead of providing the police officers with a price estimate, Service Manager Jose Moreno thought the dealership should perform the services free of charge. And after Moreno received the go-ahead from his boss, that's exactly what they did.
"I thought it was really nice of them (the police officers offer to pay for the expenses) and I thought we were in a position to take care of it for them," Moreno said. "It just felt right. It felt like something we should
The day of the repair was supposed to be service technician Tyler Tacla's day off. But he came in to perform a morning shift anyway and agreed to complete the repairs in the afternoon. The job took a few hours and Tacla received help from colleagues Mark Martin and Roy Shafer.
"He volunteered to work on his day off. When we told him about the situation he stayed late to make sure it would get done," Moreno said of Tacla.
Ritter said Wilsonville Honda embodied the spirit of giving that day.
"It's that time of year. It's important that people reach out to people in need and that's what we do and that's what Wilsonville Honda did. We're super appreciative of their actions," he said. "I wouldn't be afraid to reach out to them again if we had a similar set of circumstances. We're not expecting them to do it every time but I would reach out to them again because they were fantastic."
Since the Honda Dealership's act of kindness, the woman has found a place to stay and is hopeful for the future.
"Things are falling into place. They're getting better," she said.