Thanks to the kindness of strangers, and a little help from social media, Henry Blakeborough will have a merry Christmas with his daughter and grandson.
"All I did was ask if I could do some work," Blakeborough said Saturday.
Blakeborough, a mechanic, lost his job earlier this month. Wanting nothing more than to make it to Merritt to spend Christmas with his daughter, Amanda Rose, and three-year-old grandson, Richard, he posted on the Facebook page Fruit in the Loops that he was looking for work.
"I had no funds available whatsoever to be able to go and see them for Christmas," he said.
He offered to do odd jobs - shovel driveways, rotate tires, fix brakes - for whatever money people were willing to offer. All he wanted was enough to make the trip, said Blakeborough.
And people responded, he said. Pattie Zerr posted about Blakeborough's plight on the city's Random Acts of Kindness Facebook page. And Jamie Barron offered to give Blakeborough $5 and challenged others to ante up.
"The barrel just started rolling downhill from there," said Blakeborough.
Between Zerr and Barron, Blakeborough ended up with two $25 gas cards, $120 in cash, a $10 gift card for Tim Hortons and presents for his daughter and grandson.
Barron collected the money and presents from people on Friday afternoon and delivered them to Blakeborough's Westsyde home.
"He was highly overwhelmed," said Barron.
When asked why he wanted to help, Barron said it's important to support others in the community, and he decided to lead by example.
"With all wrong in the world these days, it's just sad. If we're not going to help each other out in the community, then who is going to help us?" he said.
Blakeborough planned to drive to Merritt Saturday night.