David Perez, of Fremont, California, saw his elderly, 75-year-old neighbor climbing up on his roof every Saturday and Sunday afternoon. David eventually figured out what the old man was trying to do. He was repairing the shingles on his roof all by himself. David then posted the following plea on his behalf on Facebook:
“I’m trying to reach anyone that has roofing experience. So please share this. I have a neighbor, the man on the roof in this picture, name unknown. He is about 80 years old and climbs onto the roof trying to finish putting the shingles on by himself. I feel sorry for him but I have no roofing skills. I would like to see if anyone can donate their time to help him finish. It appears that he has all the materials so looking for free labor to show up this Saturday, August 29th…”
David was overwhelmed when the post went viral. In just a short time, it racked up over 1,400 shares! When that Saturday came, 40 people showed up to help fix the roof, while others donated pizza, water, and other snacks for the volunteers.
David’s neighbor, 75-year-old Richard Dubiel, could not believe the response. He had spent the last three months trying to fix the shingles on the roof in preparation for the upcoming El Niño storms.
“It restores your faith in humanity,” says Richard. “I’m just astounded. I couldn’t believe it when this fella knocked on my door and said he wanted to help for free. What a gesture.”
“You see so much negativity and out here, this was positive – real positive – with no thought of return or reward, other than that of helping somebody,” Richard added.
While David estimated the project would take a full day, the group was able to get the whole roof done in just four hours!
“Just knowing how many times people shared [the Facebook post], it was very surprising how far it reached,” says David. “The ones who took their time to come out and help a stranger was very nice. It was very uplifting to see that.”
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