News / Americas

Virginia Auto Shop Helps Repair Cars and Lives

Auto Shop Repairs Cars and Livesi
|| 0:00:00
X
January 29, 2013 3:21 PM
With the price of servicing a car going up, keeping it running can be expensive and especially difficult for people who struggle with financial hardship. To help out, a family-owned auto repair shop is making minor fixes, at no charge, for the jobless in its community. Producer Faiza Elmasry tells us how small repairs can make a big difference. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Auto Shop Repairs Cars and Lives

When Sharon and Gene Ward’s van started making strange noises, the Virginia couple panicked.

“Our car started to sound like a million crickets chirping," Sharon says. "We had taken it to a place down in Manassas and we told the person we are on a limited income. He told us it was going to be over $300 to fix it.”

That presented a major problem for the couple since they use the vehicle for more than transportation; it is also their home.

Because they're too sick to work, the Wards receive unemployment payments from the government. They've been living in their van since losing their low-rent apartment in September.

“You don’t have a place to take a shower," Sharon says. "You don’t have a place to wash your clothes. You've got to only carry a certain amount of things with you. When the cold temperatures come and the snow, you just don’t know what to do.”

“I try to make sure that we always have gas so we can run the motor for heat,” Gene says.

That’s where W.D. Wiygul’s Automotive Clinic comes in. He offers minor repairs, for free, to people like the Wards.

“We have had folks come in that are in their middle ages and they were successful bankers," Wiygul says. "Now they maybe cannot afford a battery for their car. We fix their car.”

The family-owned business has four locations in northern Virginia and was founded by Wiygul’s grandfather more than 40 years ago.  

“We’re not here for the glory or to promote our business," Wiygul says. "We’re doing this because it’s the right thing to do. This is our little way to try to kick-start our community economy.”

The Wards drove right over when they heard about Wiygul’s offer on the radio. The belt tensioner turned out to be the source of the loud noise.

“They even polished our headlights, gave us the remote control to their TV here and let us watch their TV and have something to drink,” Sharon says.

And that's not all. Wiygul also called a local interfaith group which helped the couple find temporary shelter.

“I’ll always be grateful to him because as things turned around," Sharon says, "there is hope.”

Wiygul hopes other small businesses will follow his lead in giving back to the community. He's proud to be not only getting cars back on the road, but also helping people get back on their feet.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Bob Herold from: Manassas, Virginia
January 30, 2013 3:11 PM
I can speak from direct experience that the entire WIYGUL FAMILY is wired differently than most business owners! They care more about doing the right thing and taking care of people (some they have never meet) than the top or bottom line. Sure, they have built a very sucessful long term business from a results standpoint, however their business accomplishments are strongly overshadowed by the lives they touch everyday through repeated selfless acts of kindness. I'm not at all surprised by this article. The Wiyguls are wonderful, wonderful people!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

US Ambassador Calls for LGBT Rights

John Berry spoke at the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne
More

China's Xi Praises Close Ties with Cuba

Head of China's Communist Party hails common socialist bond between his country and Cuba as he kicks off a state visit in Havana
More

US Judge Orders Argentina, Creditors to Reach Deal

Lawyers for investors who declined to restructure bonds after country defaulted on about $100B in 2002 warned that time running out to reach a deal, avert fresh default
More

Trial Imminent for Detained Venezuelan Protest Leader Lopez

Lopez's wife, Lilian Tintori, says outside pressure needed on Venezuelan president to move case forward
More

Sex Workers Seek HIV Prevention

The Lancet publishes new series on HIV
More

Texas Gov. Perry Orders State National Guard to Border

Governor says he took extraordinary measure to help secure the border, his critics say it is a political stunt
More