It began with overhearing an unkind comment from a couple of teenagers.
They walked past 75-year-old Leonard Bullock’s home in Pendleton, Oregon and made a comment about how the house should be destroyed due to its poor condition. Union Pacific track inspector Josh Cyganik overheard the comment, as did the house’s owner Leonard Bullock.
“I saw the look on Leonard’s face. I could tell the comment bothered him,” Cyganik told a UPRR.com reporter. “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.”
And what exactly was it that Cyganik came up with? He decided that he would rally together some of his railroad coworkers to help him give Bullock’s home a facelift. He also asked a friend of his, a manager at a local lumber supply store, if he’d be able to donate some paint to the project.
After getting all the supplies he needed for the makeover, Cyganik asked Bullock if he would be okay if they painted his house for him. Bullock consented with teeming elation.
Cygnaik was concerned that he wouldn’t have enough support to complete the project on such short notice, so he uploaded a post onto his private Facebook page asking for any willing participants. The post was shared more than 6,000 times, and by the time he arrived on the job site at 8 a.m., there were already about 20 people waiting to lend a helping hand. Throughout the day more and more people showed up to give support, with more than 100 volunteers passing through by the end of the day.
“Yeah, it was a random act of kindness, but to me it’s more about respect,” Cyganik reported to UPRR.com. “According to the media, I’m a hero. I’m not a hero; I just heard something that bothered me. Anyone would have done the same thing. Everyone has it in their heart to do things like this.”
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