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Not On His Watch! Good Samaritan Steps In To Help Local Man Walking 33 Miles To Work.

Chris Arsenault didn’t need to walk a mile in Eric Akers’ shoes to appreciate his struggle.

The Prineville, Oregon man was sitting on his tractor when a news story from Central Oregon Daily popped up on his phone. The story was about Eric, a local man Chris didn’t know at all, but whose situation tugged at his emotions. For the past few weeks, Eric walked 33 miles to and from work in Bend, Oregon every day.

Eric’s trouble started when his car broke down. It took every last dime of his savings just to have the car towed, and fixing it was out of the question. He tried to find rides, but when that failed, he strapped on his sneakers and hit the road.

Every day, Eric left home around 10 a.m. and walked for 6 and 1/2 hours to get to his night job on time. After putting in a full 8-hour work shift, he turned around and made the same 33 mile trek back home. When asked why he didn’t simply find a new job closer to home, Eric’s answer was simple.

“I guess I say work ethic,” Eric said. “I really need the money. I like my job. I want to keep my job. I like the people I work with. So, a measure of just showing I’m willing to do what it takes to get the job done.”

This is the sort of determination that Chris appreciates. His mind immediately went to the 25-year-old Honda Civic sitting in his driveway. He’d purchased it from his uncle, who bought it brand new in 1997. Neither Chris nor his wife drive the car now, and it suddenly seemed wasteful to keep it when Eric so obviously needed help.

Chris talked to his wife, and she agreed. He called the news outlet, which had been inundated with inquires about ways to help Eric, and told them he had a car to donate. Twenty-four hours after the story aired, Chris handed Eric the keys and paperwork to the car.

“I feel really blessed,” Eric said. “Thank you.”

Chris admits “there’s no way” he would have walked 33 miles to get to work and back, so he was incredibly impressed and humbled by Eric’s tenacity. He also saw the gift as an opportunity to show love to his fellow man simply because it’s the right thing to do.

“I think, especially in today’s time, we need to help people,” Chris explained. “We need to help our neighbors. It’s a rough time. People are divided and so I wanted to help him.”

Eric reports that the car drives very well, and he’s still overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from his community, but especially the Arsenault family! We’re so glad that this news story had such an impact on this hardworking man’s life.

Share this story to wish Eric happy trails – and to thank Chris for stepping up!

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