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Locals pay to fix student’s car keyed with homophobic slurs

Several local businesses chipped in to fix a college kid’s car after homophobic slurs were carved into the doors, proving that good deeds do not go unnoticed.

no bullying

no bullying

Four separate vandalism incidents

A Virginia college student’s car has been targeted four separate times in a two month period, as homophobic slurs have been keyed into the doors of his car, and other messages like “dye” (which we assume means “die,” but there was a spelling error). Jordan Addison has been singled out and bullied for being gay, and as any college kid on a budget, he was unable to pay for repairs… until a local body shop rallied local businesses, including their own, to completely overhaul the car.

WDBJ-TV reports that the manager of Roanoke’s Quality Auto Paint and Body says that he heard about Addison’s car, “I said that’s uncalled for we’re gonna fix your car that’s the least we can do.”

With the help of several other local businesses (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, and Sunnybrook Auto Spa), Quality Auto Paint & Body not only provided the student with a brand new paint job for his car, but tinted windows, new tires, a new security system, and even a new stereo.

“We can’t afford to do this ourselves,” body shop manager Richard Henegar, Jr. noted of the $10,000 worth of repairs and upgrades.”We might have all the good intentions in the world, but I can’t finance something like this ourselves.”

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“It looks great,” Addison said about his Volkswagen. “It hasn’t looked that great the entire time I’ve had it.”

Thanks to Quality Auto Paint & Body

This isn’t Quality Auto Paint & Body’s first rodeo, in fact, this 26 year old family business run by father and son performed a similar feat in 2010, which they called “Operation Pay it Forward,” wherein the team overhauled a deployed soldier’s vehicle while he was away on duty, a calling close to Henegar Jr.’s heart after serving four years in the Navy.

With a company culture like this, it is without question that the body shop is getting attention for all the right reasons. First a soldier, now a hate crime victim? They deserve all of the praise coming their way, as do the other companies that ponied up for the repairs. They not only got local news’ attention, they are in the national spotlight of traditional and digital media outlets, even getting a nod from GLAAD.

So far, reviews across the web are proving the value of good deeds done by local businesses. On Yelp, they got their first reviews ever as a result of helping Addison, with people writing in from across the country, like Christopher in San Jose, who said, “I read about what you guys did for the kid with the damaged car. If you apply the same level of care to cars that you do to people, you must be a fine business. I wish I were close so that I could give you some of my business. Your good deeds didn’t go unnoticed. Thank you.”

On the body shop’s Google+ Page, one reviewer said, “I read about the random act of kindness your Auto Body Shop and other business concerns in Roanoke did for the young man whose car was vandalized simply because he was gay. I lived in Roanoke many year ago while attending Salem College. I left because of the attitude of many in the area towards gays. You have restored my faith and I thank you. It is good to know that goodness always triumphs over evil.”

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Full video of Addison’s reaction available on WDBJ.

Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. tinainvirginia

    August 22, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    Many people think that those who live in the deep trenches of the south are “bible thumping”, closed minded, ignorant rednecks.  Let this be a lesson….we care about each other, our fellow neighbors and our country.  This is just one of the many, many acts of caring and kindness that occur each and everyday in our community; and, just another reason why we moved to southwest Virginia.

    • elijahmay

      August 26, 2012 at 11:35 pm

       @tinainvirginia It’s a great story. I’m now part of the AG Team here in Austin, but I’m originally from the mountains of NC, and I’ve seen this kind of compassion, tolerance, and neighborliness first hand. Frankly, those values turned out to be my biggest asset during my years in L.A..

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