Local auto shop surprises customers with free service

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MACHESNEY PARK, Ill. (WTVO) — During the pandemic, there have been many stories of people being helped in a time of need. That’s the case for an auto body shop in Machesney Park. The business owners did work on two vehicles free of charge.

The car owners tell us that the gesture brought them to tears.

“Going from a literal fighter, competing in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and three months later not being able to walk, you start to feel a certain kind of way about it,” said Todd Ehrhardt.

It was difficult for Todd to adjust to needing crutches to get around since he was diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome three years ago. One of the ways he learned to cope is by tricking out his truck.

“This truck is essentially my heart,” he explained.

Ehrehardt went to Midcoast Customs in Machesney Park to get some work done and was shocked when the shop offered to do the job free of charge.

“I was very blessed… they made a grown man cry,” Todd admitted.

“We have some people that go through some pretty tough stuff. When they come around, and we get to know them, sometimes it’s one of those pay it forward deals, just kind of helping them out. Everybody needs a little feel good now and again with all the craziness of the world right now,” said Kyle Wiesneth, the shop manager for Midcoast Customs.

Now, the shop is working on another special job. Joe Keck is an army veteran who lost his left arm in a Humvee accident in 2008. He came into Midcoast Customs hoping to get a small wrap to hide some scratches on his car. Instead, they’re covering the entire car in an army green design.

“I got a call that they wanted to take care of the car for me. Nothing out of pocket for me. And it was a huge surprise… emotional, I had to take a seat for a bit,” Keck said.

Both men say they were blown away by the gesture.

“Just saying here, I don’t want nothing in return for this except for your friendship. Here- that’s how you change the world,” Ehrhardt added.

“It’s kinda nice seeing people do things for other people. It kinda restores your faith in humanity a little bit,” said Keck.

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