Thanks to one thoughtful act from a good Samaritan, a 75-year-old man has a freshly painted home and a new sense of pride.
Josh Cyganik, 35, only knew Leonard Bullock as the man who was usually sitting on his front porch near the rail yard where Cyganik works. The two would wave "hello" in the mornings and "goodbye" in the evenings, but never exchanged much more than that. Last month, Cyganik overheard two teens walk by the home and comment that they thought the house was in poor condition and needed to be burned down.
"The look on Leonard's face said it all to me," Cyganik told ABC13. "I went home and thought about it and it was just bothering me, eating me up and I knew I had to do something."
He contacted a local lumber and paint store that agreed to donate materials to help fix up Bullock's exterior, but Cyganik still needed volunteers. He used Facebook to ask for a few helping hands in order to get Bullock's home back in good shape.
When Cyganik first published the post, he expected just a handful of people to show up and lend a hand. Instead, the post went viral and was shared with thousands of people across the country. As a result, over 100 people showed up to help fix Bullock's house.
"It was just overwhelming how people would come together to lend a hand to do something for Leonard," Cyganik said. "It's still hard for me to wrap my head around it."
For Cyganik, the decision to help Bullock came from being taught to respect his elders. Now, the house has a fresh coat of paint and brand new porch furniture for Bullock to enjoy. Each work day, Cyganik says he and Bullock still exchange waves.
"Day in and day out he's still there," Cyganik says, "and he grins ear to ear."