Josh Cyganik has walked past 75-year-old Leonard Bullock’s Pendleton, Oregon, home every day for the past four years. Although the men never spoke, Bullock always waved to Cyganik, who works as a track inspector for Union Pacific Railroad.
"He sits on that front porch all day long," Cyganik said in a feature on Union Pacific’s website.
One July afternoon, Cyganik overheard two teens saying that Bullock’s home should be burned down because it was disheveled.
"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.”
(Bullock's house before it was painted)
Cyganik rallied the community and convinced his friend Brian Christensen, manager of Tum-a-Lum lumber, to donate some paint. He then went to Bullock and asked if he could paint his house.
On July 18, more than 100 people showed up to help repaint Bullock’s home, Fox 13 reported.
“It was just a good vibe! Everybody was happy and excited,” Cyganik told Union Pacific. “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.”
(Volunteers painting Bullock's house)
The good deed didn’t end there. More volunteers bought new outdoor furniture and now Cyganik is seeking a roofer willing to help them further clean up Bullock’s home.
"Yeah, it was a random act of kindness, but to me it's more about respect," Cyganik said. "I was raised to respect the people who came before you, to help others out who don't have much.
"Leonard can now sit on his front porch for the rest of his years while feeling good about his home.”
(Bullock's house after it was painted)
Though there’s more work to be done, Cyganik reported that Bullock and his wife Dorothy were happy with the effort.
The night the house was repainted, Cyganik’s friend sent him a text.
“My buddy told me that Leonard and Dorothy were still sitting on their porch in the dark, just grinning from ear to ear," Cyganik said.
Photo Credit: Union Pacific Railroad