Anne Anderson of Denair said her 1997 Toyota Corolla needed major repairs recently, so she took it to a nearby dealer to find out how much it would cost.
"The amount he quoted was impossible for me to pay," said Anne, 72. "Since I'm a senior citizen, I don't know how long I'll be driving, and I can't take on extra expense."
So she got in touch with the owner of Auto Wholesale in Turlock, where she bought the car 13 years ago.
"He gave the car a complete overhaul, including the timing belt and a total brake job. Hoses, belts and thermostats were replaced. He also gave the car a complete detailing job -- all this for one-third of the other quoted price."
Her son, she said, commented that the shop owner was doing the work "as if he were doing it for his own mother."
She's very thankful for the extra service.
Haiti may have fallen off the front pages and out of the TV network news, but people are still trying to put back the pieces of their lives there and folks here continue to help with fund-raisers.
Salida Middle School students in the Aspire after-school program raised nearly $400.
"It was a penny drive," said Marissa Vecchio, an instructional aide. "About 85 kids participated. The students acted swiftly and selflessly. Many donated money from their college savings fund or from baby-sitting and other weekend jobs. It was a job well done."
The children at Von Renner School in Newman raised more than $2,100 in one week to send to the children of Haiti.
And Modesto Christian School held a wild coin drive, with students running around trying to outdo other classes. They raised more than $4,000. The money was sent to four organizations working in Haiti: Modesto-based LifeWind International, Churches Helping Churches, Assist International, and Youth With A Mission (YWAM).
Audrey Hermanson, a real-estate agent with Prudential California, recently helped Deborah Miller get into her first home. Deborah works for Girl Scouts Heart of Central California, helping to encourage Latino girls to join the Girl Scouts.
After Deborah's house closed escrow, Audrey donated $200 to the organization. Deborah's lender, Wells Fargo, donated an additional $300.
Do you have a story about someone who has helped others? Send a brief item to Sue Nowicki at P.O. Box 5256, Modesto 95352 or e-mail email@example.com.