The Kindness of Strangers

Driving into work yesterday, was an adventure to say the least. I didn’t even make it two miles when i hit a nasty snow patch and heard a horrible sound coming from my car. YAY! Not the best start to my day.

I made it to a local shop, where I heard some bad news. A couple of belts snapped and something inside the car was bent. I was in sticker shock when I heard the rough total of the repairs before labor. It wasn’t drivable so they had to be done. After I agreed to all the repairs, the lead mechanic came into the main waiting area and I was reminded of how much we impact lives on a daily basis.

When I saw the mechanic walk in, I was thinking, “great, more things are wrong.” But I was completely taken by surprise when he asked me where I got my bumper sticker, “the Cancer Changes Lives one.” I started telling him about The Ulman Cancer Fund and why we do what we do. After we talked for about 15 minutes, he started telling me him story. His mom had just recently passed away from breast cancer. She was 56 years old and had been fighting he disease for 10 years. We sat there talking about his mom and what he was dealing with for another half an hour. He was so happy to hear about UCF and all the programs we offer. After we finished talking, I gave him a bumper sticker that I had in my car and told him if he ever wanted to reach out and I would be happy to continue our chat. He thanked me and told me he would have a total estimate soon.

15 minutes later as I was sitting in the waiting room of the shop waiting for my ride, the mechanic comes back out to give me an estimate. I read over the statement (which was incredibly low for the amount of stuff that was wrong) and I got to the amount for labor. It was $0 dollars. He told me that he was going to do the labor for free. I couldn’t believe it, I was so thankful because I am a broke graduate student.

You never know who you are going to meet and connect with. I am very grateful for the story that was shared with me yesterday. We are reaching people and it was a great feeling.

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About Ashley Portrey

Volunteer Coordinator, AmeriCorps member, tennis player, Thanatologist, volunteer, and bargain shopper. Loves anything green, red skittles, tennis, and traveling.
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One Response to The Kindness of Strangers

  1. Corrine says:

    Great post, Ashley! Its usually the unexpected impact that we all have on the lives of people who interact with us that makes life interesting….!

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