Note: we are republishing this story in light of recent reports that suggest more and more people all across the country are experiencing random acts of kindness from people even amid the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A group of 40 volunteers came together on Saturday to fix an elderly man's roof.
David Perez noticed his elderly neighbor, 75-year-old Richard Dubiel, struggling to put new shingles on his roof single handedly in Fremont, California, so he posted a public plea for help 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.
Before he knew it, 1,400 people shared his post. On Saturday, 40 people showed up to fix the roof, while others donated water, donuts and pizza for the volunteers.
Dubiel was amazed to see the group arrive at his house.
"It restores your faith in humanity," Dubiel, a retired systems test engineer, told KTVU. "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."
Dubiel added that he had spent the last three months working to replace the shingles. The elderly man's knees ache when he works, but he knew that he needed to finish the roof before El Nino storms set in. Fortunately, this time, he was able to take a well-deserved break.
"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," Dubiel said, according to the Daily Mail.
Perez had estimated that the project would take a full day's work, but because of the high turnout, the group was able to complete the task in only four hours.
"Just knowing how many times people shared [the Facebook post], it was very surprising how far it reached," Perez said. "The ones who took their time to come out and help a stranger was very nice. It was very uplifting to see that."