After Central Oregon Daily News told the story of Eric Akers, the Prineville man who walked 33 miles to work in Bend after his car broke down, the emails started pouring in from people who wanted to give him a hand.
Or a car.
We told the story Wednesday of how Eric’s car broke down. Rather than call in sick, Eric got up and started walking. In about 6 1/2 hours, he made it to his job in Bend to start his night shift.
Chris Arsenault and his wife were inspired and reached out to us. Sitting on their property was a 25-year-old Honda they no longer needed.
“I bought this car from my uncle. My aunt bought it brand new in ’97,” Chris told Eric when we introduced them to each other. “It’s a clean little car. My wife and I want to give you that car.”
Chris said he was on a tractor when the story came across his phone. He was impressed by Eric’s dedication.
“We decided we have more cars than we need, so we wanted to give him this little Honda,” Chris said.
“I feel really blessed. Thank you.” Eric said.
“I think, especially in today’s time, we need to help people. We need to help our neighbors,” Chris said. “It’s a rough time. People are divided and so I wanted to help him.”
Would Chris have walked 33 miles to work?
“There’s no way I would have done it. That’s what inspired me to do this, and my wife, too,” Chris said.
“He just handed me the paperwork for the car and told me it’s mine,” Eric said.
On his first drive, Eric said the car handles and sounds good.
“The kindness and generosity of the community has been overwhelming,” he said.
Several other people also reached out to Central Oregon Daily to make similar offers.
Watch the story below that led to this act of generosity.