For four months, Radford University student Jordan Addison drove a car whose windows had been bashed in and that had a homophobic slur keyed into one of the doors. Addison tells the New York Daily News that his car had been vandalized on four separate occasions because he is gay.
Lacking the funds to fix his 1999 Volkswagon — at least $2,500 just for the door, says CBS News — the Virginia student had spray-painted over the slur on the door and fitted mismatched pairs of tires to the axles.
But then the manager of a local auto shop in Roanoke, Quality Auto Paint and Body in Roanoke, learned of Addison’s plight and teamed up with ten other businesses to fix Addison’s car. As manager Richard Henegar Jr. said to the New York Daily News:
“We don’t take kindly to discrimination of any sort here. I was bullied in high school and a little bit in the service and I saw an opportunity to help somebody out.”
Henegar and a number of volunteers worked for over 100 hours and spent $10,000 to add a new scratch-resistant paint job, new tires, tinted windows, a new stereo and a new security system to Addison’s car. “As soon as I saw his car, I said, ‘We’re gonna fix this, it’s the least we can do,” Henegar said, noting that “just about everyone he contacted in the industry was more than happy to help.”
Addison was even provided with a car from the Enterprise agency to drive while his Volkswagen was being fixed over a period of two weeks. When he saw the results, Addison says he was “entirely speechless.”
Once back on the Radford University campus, Addison plans to park his car in a gated parking lot with camera surveillance — a sad testament that there is still too much hate out there towards LGBT individuals.
The effort to fix his car “restored [his] faith, [his] good faith, in people,” Addison says. Truly, hearing about what Henegar and others volunteered to do, reminds us that things can and do get better. One person’s good efforts make a world of difference.
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