The small town of Price, Utah recently helped out U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Rowan Coash in a big way.
Coash was in the midst of a 2,000+ mile trek from Vancouver, Washington to San Antonio, Texas to report for duty when his 2005 Toyota Corolla broke down. Here he was, on the side of a dangerous Utah highway.
He called his friend, Erica Krochmalny, back in Washington to tell her the news. She took to Facebook to see if, perhaps through a few degrees of separation, she could reach someone willing to help.
“Anybody out there in Facebook land near Price, UT and willing to help a soldier?” she wrote.
Before anyone responded, Coash had his car towed to a local mechanic who delivered him a depressing diagnostic report: he needed a new engine, and it would take six to 10 days and thousands of dollars to fix it.
But before long, the power of social media kicked in. People started sharing Krochmalny’s post by the thousands, and sure enough, hundreds of other mechanics offered to check the car out. Randy Misner, a mechanic at a local dealership, took the car into his shop.
“We saw it needed a motor and once we saw we needed a motor, the whole team jumped in,” Tony Basso, general manager at Tony Basso GM, said.
Coash still needed to report for duty before his car could be fixed. He was hooked up with a rental car and arrived in San Antonio on time. Back in Price, meanwhile, his car was getting $3,500 worth of work done. The best part? He was not billed a single dollar.
“It was absolutely amazing the overwhelming support that I got, I really don’t know how to put it into words,” Coash said.
Once the repairs on his car were finished, it was shipped to him free of charge. Basso says it was only the right thing to do.
“I think it’s time that we as a nation serve those who protect us but from a small town aspect, us as car dealers and individuals: we all want to help,” he said.