"You should always be kind toward the people you meet because you never know what kind of hard battle they are fighting."
That popular quote became a reality for a group of strangers on social media two weeks ago. On a forum where more than 20 people randomly responded to a man's plea for help, the results were life-altering for the recipient.
Robert Skierkiewicz, a Prineville resident, was disabled from a motorcycle accident approximately four years ago. Unable to work due to his injuries, Skierkiewicz relied on his disability as a sole source of income. As he indicated on the forum that Tuesday morning, he had become dangerously low on food supplies, and had not received his stimulus check.
"I have been through difficult times in the past four years since my Harley accident," commented Skierkiewicz.
After he reached out on social media, local resident Lona Reed responded to his post to find out what he specifically needed. Others joined in the offer to help, and Reed began a side posting to rally everyone together to help Robert. She organized a list and a time to meet to gather supplies and groceries.
With 24 hours, Reed was at a meeting place, and before delivering supplies to Robert, she had filled the back of her SUV with more than six bags of groceries. She made a second delivery that afternoon and delivered more non-edible needed supplies.
"It has brought a lot of joy to my heart, and I could tell everyone who was giving and bringing things were happy to help," Reed commented of the experience.
Reed is formerly from Prineville, and recently moved back to her hometown. She has missed the Prineville community, and how the people rally around and help one another.
"Prineville has always been dear to my heart and I was raised here, and it's always been a very giving town," she stated. "I am glad to be back, and I want to do more things like this."
Reed has plans to get connected with volunteer opportunities in the community.
She indicated that as many as 20 people helped in some way to get groceries. Some went shopping, and some offered to help with masks because she did not have any. Others gave gift certificates from local businesses.
"I'm not working right now, so I could help by picking up things and taking things." She added that sometimes people want to help but do not have the means to do so.
"I plan to keep in touch with him for sure and check up on him. It made me feel good, because it is dear to my heart to help and do things for people," said Reed.
Skierkiewicz was overwhelmed and grateful for the response from complete strangers, and he is also grateful to meet some new people.
"Thank you for the food and thank you to the community that has helped me," he concluded. "You saved my life."
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