Excerpts from a story published by the Union Pacific Railroad:
Josh Cyganik has waved to 75-year-old Leonard Bullock every morning for the past four years.Bullock's house sits across the street from a portion of the Union Pacific main line in Pendleton, Oregon, where Cyganik meets his co-workers every day to begin his work maintaining tracks across UP's western region. "He sits on that front porch all day long," Cyganik said. "I never talked to him. Not until I heard what those two kids said."It was a sunny day in July when Josh overheard two teenagers comment that the house should be burned down because it was in such bad shape. "I saw the look on Leonard's face. I could tell the comment bothered him," Cyganik said. "I don't think any elderly person should have to endure what I heard from those two kids' mouths. I kind of stewed about it for a couple days before I decided to do something."Determined to right the situation, Cyganik 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. "Brian was more than happy to donate supplies. After we had it all figured out, I went and asked Leonard if it would be all right if we painted his house," Cyganik said. "He was ecstatic."
He posted his project on Facebook, and more than a hundred people stopped by to help.
"It was just a good vibe! Everybody was happy and excited," Cyganik said. "We received a lot of additional donations from people who didn't come but wanted to help. People were dropping off food and drinks all day long. Starbucks even donated six gallons of water and iced tea."The formerly white, blue and turquoise house now is a uniform warm beige, and thanks to more help from Tum-a-Lum Lumber, construction of a new porch is underway. Additional volunteers have purchased new outdoor furniture, and Cyganik and crew are looking for a roofer willing to donate time to complete the project.
More details at the link. Commentary at Reddit. Those readers who have grown weary of the unending grim news they encounter exploring the internet will be relieved to know that there is an Uplifting News subreddit.Throughout this process, Cyganik learned quite a bit about Leonard Bullock. Bullock is a retired forklift driver. He met his wife, Dorothy, at a church in Walla Walla, Washington. They married in 2000. Bullock retired in 1995, but even with his monthly stipend he and Dorothy didn't have the funds to fix up their house. "They're great people," Cyganik said. "You never know about someone unless you get to know their struggles.