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UPDATE: Roanoke auto shop, student receive worldwide response after WDBJ7 story

Quality Auto Paint & Body restored bullied college student's vandalized car for free

August 27, 2012|Elizabeth Harrington | Reporter

ROANOKE, Va — It's a story people are still talking about one week later.

Last Monday, WDBJ7 first told you about a Roanoke auto shop that repaired a bullied college student's car for free. That story quickly went viral and people all over the world are talking about it.

"It's really surreal. It's overwhelming to say the least," says Richard Henegar, Jr.

WDBJ7's story has been shared more than 27,500 times online.

Henegar is the manager at Quality Auto Paint & Body. He and about a dozen other businesses repaired Jordyn Addison's car. Those businesses include Parts Unlimited in Vinton, Advance Auto Parts, Moon's Auto Body, Rice Toyota, Val's Automotive, The Rod Shop, B&C Exterminating, Twists & Turns, AJ's Landscaping, Valley Excellence Automotive, Advance Auto Parts, and Sunnybrook Auto Spa.

It was vandalized four times this past spring. A homophobic slur was even keyed into the side. Henegar not only restored the car but went the extra mile adding new tires, paint, stereo and a new security system.

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WDBJ7 was there last Monday when Henegar surprised Addison with his restored car.

"The next day on Tuesday our phones didn't stop ringing all day," says Henegar.

"I've gotten a lot of people that have actually cried to me cause they're so thankful, they're so overwhelmed," says Jordan Griffitts who works at Quality Auto, "You know people that have been bullied in the past."

Quality Auto Paint & Body has received a lot of emails and they've replied to every single one. The emails, calls, and Facebook messages come from people as far away as Israel, Australia, and South America.

People are even calling Henegar's mom.

"They got a hold of my phone number and I've gotten texts on my phone saying thank you, thank you," says Sherie Henegar, "You know it's just pretty amazing."

Henegar and Addison have been fielding interview requests for the last week. WDBJ7's story was picked up on websites around the world and by some celebrities.

"I've gotten calls from the New York Daily, the Toronto Star, place out in Oregon, a few others that I just can't remember," says Henegar.

On Monday, Henegar thanked the people who worked behind the scenes. The small businesses who donated time, money and parts to fix Addison's car.

"Rick calls me and says 'hey look I've got another deal' and I'm like yeah I'll help," says Twoie Knox from B&C Exterminating who bought new tires for Addison.

They can expect more calls from Henegar. 

"I wanna pay it forward every year so we're calling it Operation Pay It Forward and once a year we're going to overhaul a deserving person's car," says Henegar.

He's still working on the details. But Henegar now sees the impact one good deed can have on the entire world.

Jordyn Addison has also gotten a lot of response from WDBJ7's story. He has been interviewed by newspapers and media in the U.S. and abroad. On Monday he started his second year at Radford University.

Addison says he plans to meet with Radford University officials to talk about security improvements in hopes of preventing more vandalism on-campus.

Radford follow up story
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