FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) Monte Pearson has lived in Fairbanks since he was two. He works as an operator for the 302 Operators Union and has been laid off during the winter. He said that growing up, he remembers Fairbanks as a community where residents would help each other out for no reason. However he says that recently... it has changed.
Monte Pearson has been spending his free time to help people get their cars running during the cold Fairbanks winters. (John Doughety/KTVF)
“There has been so much violence and thefts and negativity going on in Fairbanks,” Pearson said.
So last January during a cold snap he started helping people thaw their cars and get them started. After he helped around eight people, it warmed up and Pearson said it didn’t really take off. Then he said he saw there was supposed to be a cold snap before Christmas and decided it was the perfect time to start helping again.
Pearson said he looked for a sponsor to help him pay for fuel -- and within five minutes of posting in the Fairbanks, Alaska Facebook group, Barron Realty contacted him and offered to pay for all the gas for his truck and heater.
“The first night I did 13 vehicles. Started at 6:30 in the morning, went to 12:30 at night, or, you know, 12:30 in the morning, got some sleep and right back at it the next day bright and early”, said Pearson.
Pearson said the reason he has been doing this is to spread positivity and inspire others to help out and make Fairbanks a better place.
“We need to inspire others to continue this, not just one guy with a heater and a thaw pan and time. It need to be a community, find your niche. I found mine, it’s thawing vehicles,” Pearson said.
Since he started, he has gotten around 75 vehicles running, and Pearson says the support has been overwhelming. His truck broke down on the first weekend that he started thawing cars, and when he posted that he wouldn’t be able to help, a local shop contacted him and offered to fix his car for free.
“I wanted to set up a payment plan with him and he said, ‘No, what you're doing is more than payment enough,’” Peasron said. The shop fixed the car for free and loaned him a vehicle to continue his work while his truck was being fixed. Other businesses gave him free parts and free fluids. Within a day his truck was fixed and he was back helping others.
He said people still try and pay him or give him food and he tells them to pay it forward, something he said people have been doing.
“Let’s work together and make this a better place to live, and be the kindest town in Alaska. That would be the [only] payment that I ever need,” said Pearson.
While he seek to make Fairbanks the best, he says the idea is spreading. Pearson said he has heard from people all over the world saying his work has inspired them to do good for others. He said he heard from one person who saw someone in line at the store who didn’t have enough money to pay for the things in their cart so they, “stepped up, paid for it, and gave it to them.”
For anyone who needs his help, Pearson said to find him on Facebook, send him a message, and he will see what he can do.
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