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

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license 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.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Mexican Court Frees Ex-US Marine Jailed on Gun Charges

Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi had been behind bars since March for bringing guns into the country
More

Mexico Police Investigate Police Link in Shooting Deaths of US Siblings

Deaths of Erica Alvarado Rivera, her brothers and boyfriend as they traveled to visit family is third high-profile case in recent months that links security forces to extrajudicial killings
More

Lawmaker Blasts US Participation in Cuba Ebola Meeting

Mario Diaz-Balart said ALBA, which chaired the meeting, 'was created solely to oppose US interests' and US participation was 'ludicrous'
More

US Coast Guard Rescues 33 Cubans at Sea

Because the overloaded boat did not make landfall, those rescued will be returned to Cuba
More

Western Experts Increasingly Fear Lone Wolf Terror Attacks

Slaying and assault on Canada's parliament building was followed by a hatchet attack on two New York City policemen
More

Search Underway at New Site in Mexico Missing Students Case

This week marked one month since the students went missing after clashing with police in mysterious circumstances
More