After teens make fun of elderly man's home, community rallies to fix it up

Good Samaritans fixed this house up for an elderly man in Oregon.
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Comments from two rude teenagers inspired one Oregon community to come together to give an elderly man's home a fresh makeover.

Josh Cyganik, 35, sees Leonard Bullock, 75, every day at work at the Union Pacific rail yard in Pendleton. Bullock lives across the street, and likes to sits on his porch, watching the neighborhood. "In the morning when I get here, he's there, waves, when I go home, waves bye," Cyganik told ABC. "I just waved to him, knew he was a nice guy." In July, Cyganik overheard two teens walking by talk about how Bullock's house was unattractive and should be burned and torn down. "The look on Leonard's face said it all to me," he said. "I went home and thought about it and it was just bothering me, eating me up, and I knew I had to do something."

Cyganik quickly came up with a plan to spruce up Bullock's home, and was able to get materials donated by a local lumber and paint store, and used Facebook to ask friends to give him some assistance. He expected a few people to join him, but his post went viral, and more than 100 volunteers showed up July 18 to freshen up Bullock's home. The entire house was painted white, and new furniture was purchased for the porch. People dropped off food and drinks throughout the day, with the surplus going to the local Salvation Army. Cyganik said it was "overwhelming" to see so many people come together to help Bullock, and reports that he is enjoying his revamped home: "Day in and day out, he's still there and he grins ear to ear."

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Catherine Garcia

Catherine Garcia is night editor for Her writing and reporting has appeared in Entertainment Weekly and, The New York Times, The Book of Jezebel, and other publications. A Southern California native, Catherine is a graduate of the University of Redlands and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.