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 even amid the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A woman's incredible interaction with a mechanic went viral.
Ruth Vine took to Facebook to tell her story, explaining that she went to Meineke in Indianapolis, Indiana, to get her car fixed after learning she needed some urgent repairs. Vine only had the car for a couple of weeks after her previous car was wrecked.
"When I bought the car it seemed solid in the test drive, but when I took it for an oil change, the manager showed me some things wrong with it that needed to be fixed basically immediately," she wrote.
"Not having the money to handle it all, Mike Hawkins, the manager, and I came up with a game plan and I promised to be back when I had enough for the brakes (the most urgent repair needing done). Mike had always done right by me with my previous car and any time there was a concern about a repair, he took the time to walk me around the car and show me exactly what was going on in plain English and with patience."
Vine said she budgeted just enough for the brakes to be repaired, and took her car in to get them done.
"As I was reading a book and waiting for Mike to give me an update on my car, a guy came into the shop and struck up a conversation. We talked for a few minutes before Mike took him out to the garage. I saw them standing under my car, talking (at this point I'm curious why Mike is showing this random man my car)," she explained.
"They come back in and it seems it's the owner I've been talking with. They tell me they've found other issues with the brake line. 'Well over $1,000' for the whole job."
Mike and the Mieneke franchise owner, Scott Martin, informed Vine that one of their mechanics would be donating time to get the job done and that she'd only have to pay what she budgeted for the brakes.
"By this time tears are streaming down my face," she wrote.
Martin told Vine that he wasn't exactly a "car guy," but rather was interested in being an honorable salesman who was honest with people and treated them with respect. What happened next confirmed that Martin was much more than just a business owner looking to make a profit.
"I had settled on giving up my grocery money to put toward the car repair and that came out in conversation. As Scott was preparing to leave to go run errands or spend his Saturday with his family, he walked outside and back in, handed me a folded up envelope and told me it was for after I left the shop," Vine wrote.
"He shook my hand, promised -- again -- they would take care of me, and left. Written on the envelope was 'Ruth's groceries' and it took several controlled breaths to not burst into tears. This man, who is taking a hit -- a substantial one in my eyes -- to make sure my car is repaired and safe to drive, also paid for my groceries."
Vine praised both men for going "considerably above and beyond any expectations of decency and human courtesy" in their efforts to make sure she got her car fixed and was able to afford groceries.
"Wonderful," one reader commented on Facebook in response to the story. "I'm so happy they helped her and didn't take advantage of her because she's a female which was my experience with the Mieneke shop where I live."
"Thank you for this story," another added. "It shows there are good people and angels left in this world!!"
Sources: Ruth Vine/Facebook