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Leonard Bullock is one of those guys who sits on his porch every day. And a railroad track inspector named Josh Cyganik has made it a point to wave to the 75-year-old every day for four years.

Josh and his fellow workers begin every day in the railroad yard across the street from Leonard’s run-down home in Pendleton, Oregon.

One day last month, Josh overhead some kids making rude remarks about how the house should just “be burned down” because it was in such bad shape. Leonard overhead them, too, and looked visibly hurt.Woman_gets_new_home_screenshot_WSPA

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Determined to erase that hurt with something positive, Josh asked a few fellow railroaders to help out. He also asked his friend, Brian Christensen, manager of Tum-a-Lum lumber, if he could donate some paint and supplies. They were all happy to help–and when Josh asked Leonard if it would be alright to paint his house, “he was ecstatic.”

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Worried he wouldn’t have enough helping hands with only a week’s notice, Josh posted his plea on Facebook. “The post blew up like wildfire,” and was shared more than 6,000 times.

One week later, more than 100 people showed up to help paint, and others sent donations of money, food and drinks.

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Starbucks even sent the crew water and iced tea.

“It was a random act of kindness, but to me it’s more about respect,” Josh said. “I was raised to respect the people who came before you, to help others out who don’t have much. Leonard can now sit on his front porch for the rest of his years while feeling good about his home.”


Thanks to more donations from Tum-a-Lum Lumber, construction of a new porch is underway. Volunteers have purchased new outdoor furniture, and–because the retired fork-lift driver doesn’t have the funds for a new roof–Josh is looking for a company willing to donate time to complete the renovation.

Photos courtesy of Union Pacific

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