'It just restored my faith in people': St. Charles business helps woman experiencing car problems
Helen Hines was tight on cash and down on her luck when she brought her car to Rush Group Detailing in St. Charles.
She was adjusting to a new job after being out of work for two years. She recently adopted a 10-year-old boy with Down syndrome. And as if she didn't have enough on her plate, she was having an especially frustrating time trying to get her car fixed after it died months earlier.
Hines, an Oak Park resident, was in need of a little good fortune. What she got was compassion from employees of an automobile detailing company who knew very little about her, yet completed $260 worth of work for free.
"It was $260 that I did not have, but they didn't know that," Hines said. "It was truly a blessing. It just restored my faith in people."
After experiencing car trouble earlier this year, Hines said, she brought her vehicle to a retired mechanic referred to her by a friend. He ended up keeping the car for four months and still was unable to fix the problem, she said.
To make matters worse, the interior was soiled to the point where she didn't want to drive it, let alone allow her child to ride in it. Hines had the car towed to Rush after coming across the company, which had a five-star rating from customers, through a quick search online, she said.
Cleaning up the vehicle was "quite a project" for the Rush crew members, who were curious to know how the car had gotten so filthy, manager Dave Baker said. They completed the desired work, as well as a few extra tasks, and called to let her know the car was ready. It was then that Baker asked for the full story.
Hines told Baker over the phone about her ongoing car issues and the additional repairs that needed to be made. She explained that she would need to pay for the detailing work in installments, Baker said, but she didn't delve into her personal life or ask for any favors.
"After hearing that, I got together with the crew and everyone who worked on the car, and we had the idea of basically taking care of the detail on our end so she didn't owe anything," Baker said. "She seemed like a really genuine person. We just thought we'd do something nice for her."
Hines said she was shocked when she called back to make a payment and was told she wouldn't be charged for the work. Baker said it was Rush's Christmas present to her.
Because their business was conducted entirely over the phone, Hines didn't meet the Rush employees in person until Thursday, when she and her son visited the shop with a cake to say, "Thank you." Their act of kindness allowed her to put the money toward the car's repairs and even buy her son a Christmas present -- something she otherwise wouldn't have been able to afford to do, she said.
"I'm still blown away because they never met me," Hines said. "To do something for a stranger that you know nothing about -- I have no words for these guys."