Auto dealer pays it forward with gift car to Serve Wenatchee Valley client
Most of us cannot imagine living in the community without an automobile and having to rely on public transportation or walking to buy groceries, get to medical appointments and all of the other chores that come with everyday living.
That has been Michael Zananiri’s reality for the most part in recent years. Zananiri, who is in his 70s, takes care of his wife Wanda and has a 1983 New Yorker that runs once in a while. He’s also the kind of person who helps out other people. Christina Alford, who used to be in the Bruce Transitional Housing program and now has a home and volunteers at Serve Wenatchee Valley, fondly remembers the times that Zananiri stopped and gave her daughter a ride.
Zananiri is a familiar sight around the valley, lugging his blue Charter Communications bag in his hand. He frequently wears a coat and tie and dress shoes, Alford tells me.
Thom Nees, the executive director of Serve Wenatchee Valley, said he has never heard Zananiri complain about having to walk or the difficulties getting his wife to medical appointments. He stoically soldiers on.
Last week, Zananiri got the surprise of his life when Cascade AutoCenter general manager Jordan Baldock and Sunny FM owner Dave Herald gave him a late-model car. This was part of Sunny FM’s Pay it Forward program in which random acts of kindness were visited upon unsuspecting souls in the community with the encouragement to do a good deed for someone else.
The vehicle had been used in the promotion and Cascade AutoCenter decided to give it to someone in need. The company has a strong relationship with Serve Wenatchee Valley, which does great work in this valley helping keep people from becoming homeless by providing a wide range of assistance.
Nees and his team at Serve Wenatchee Valley offered up three potential recipients and the folks at car dealership chose Zananiri. When Zananiri was told he was getting the car, he grabbed Nees’s arm and wondered, “is it really mine?”
We have so many people who are financially struggling in this valley and yet we have so many people willing to help others in need. This gift to Zaniniri was just one more example that our valley is filled with people who put kindness near the top of their list of values.
If you want to learn more about the mission and work of Serve Wenatchee Valley, check out servewenatchee.org or contact Nees at servewenatchee.org.