The theme of this week’s Liberty Bank SurPRIZE Squad mission was “paying it forward.”
The story started with a simple nomination from an Eyewitness News viewer and ended with a lesson.
“He just wants to help everybody so now it's time for somebody to maybe do a little something for him,” said Jessica Strickland of Coventry.
Strickland wrote into the squad about a stranger she met at CVS a few weeks ago. She had been shopping with her children at the time.
“This very nice gentleman just started talking with us, as we were looking at the candy,” she said.
Through conversation, Strickland said she found that the man, who was recovery from heart surgery, lost his wife several months ago.
She also learned that the man’s mother passed away that same week.
“It was just a really sad story,” Strickland said. “We wished him luck and we went on our way and as we were checking out, the lady at the register said he had bought each one of my kids a box of candy.”
Touched by the gesture, Strickland took to the town of Coventry’s Facebook page in an effort to find out who the Good Samaritan was so she could send him a “thank you.”
“I was overwhelmed with the responses, almost 200 replies and likes,” she said. “And everybody said the same thing as to who it was.”
The man’s name is Richard Aubin.
“What he did there at CVS did not surprise me at all,” said Reggie Hutchins of Coventry.
Hutchins said he a longtime friend of Richard Aubin. He shared some stories of other random acts of kindness that Aubin has been behind.
“Richard is the type of person that doesn't take any gratitude, but he gives a lot,” he said. “A few years ago, a young girl died and her family couldn't afford the funeral. So Richard and his wife got together and they made it happen.”
Richard Aubin’s daughter Melissa also saw Strickland’s post.
“I commented that it was my dad,” she said.
“And she's the one who gave me the address so I could send him the card,” Strickland said.
“He was so excited to get the thank you note and he was telling everybody about it and how nice it was of her to go out of her way to say thank you when he did something little,” Melissa said.
Something little spiraled into something big for her father.
Strickland and Melissa pulled together a surprise for Richard Aubin with the help of the Liberty Bank SurPRIZE Squad.
The squad bought an Edible Arrangement to start. Strickland, Melissa and a camera crew delivered it to his house.
“We wanted to get you a little treat and we did one more little thing for you,” Strickland said. “We have a special surprise.”
“Oh my goodness gracious,” Richard Aubin said. “This has gone way beyond a thank you!”
The squad found out that he had family in Florida and had planned a trip to see them over the summer. So, it bought plane tickets for Richard Aubin and his son.
“With all the bad stuff that has been happening, he really needed something good,” Melissa said. “He's so excited to go see his family and friends and that definitely means a lot.”
“Giving back is something that we should all do, be it monetary [or] time served,” Richard Aubin said. “We should all give back because it does come back around. It truly does. This is an example of it right here.”
“And that's Richard,” Hutchins said. “And he's always been like that.”
To see more Liberty Bank and Channel 3 SurPRIZE Squad stories or to nominate someone, click here.
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