You just never know when a short conversation might lead to an incredible act of kindness.
Two-time cancer survivor Ouida Parish was attending a Valentine’s Day dance at a retirement center when she struck up a conversation with Milwaukee County Sheriff Deputy Kristine Rodriguez. She mentioned how difficult her life had been recently, especially since her car hasn’t been working since October.
Kristine noticed that Ouida was sweating after trying to win a dance competition with a cash prize, so she asked the woman a bit more about herself. Ouida told her that getting to her numerous doctor appointments, not to mention other necessary places like the pharmacy and grocery store, was next to impossible for her without her car.
Sitting unused, the vehicle had fallen victim to thieves and vagrants.
“They stole the catalytic converter and they busted the window, and then I found out someone was sleeping in there,” Ouida explained, adding, “It’s really, really hard. A lot of days all I can do is just pray.”
Kristine was touched that Ouida confided in her.
“It’s just very rewarding that she put that trust in us, and she would talk to me, a law enforcement officer, about things that are going on in her life,” she said.
The deputy felt compelled to help Ouida, so she went back to the office and made a few calls, starting with coworkers she knew worked on cars sometimes.
Pro Tech Automotive of Milwaukee, Wisconsin wound up providing a lot of the parts for free, and the labor was covered by Deputy Yia Vang, who worked on the car after work. Together, they replaced the catalytic converter, engine mount, axel, and all four tires. The cost would have been between $1,500 and $2,000, but they did it all for free.
“It means everything,” said a very thankful Ouida. “I am so blessed, and I am so happy.”
Kristine says she’s just happy that Ouida confided in her so she could help.
“This is part of our job to do more, to serve, and to listen to the hardship, to see what we can do to help,” she said.
Way to go above and beyond, Deputy Rodriguez! Share this story to thank these officers for going out of their way to help someone in need.
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