Good Samaritan Monte Pearson isn’t letting warmer temperatures slow him down.
He started thawing out frozen vehicles, for strangers, for free, back in December 2019. When grateful folks tried to pay him for the service, he refused and encouraged them to give the money to someone who really needs it.
He’s a heavy equipment operator and this is what he spent his hours doing in between jobs. At the time, he said, “I’m not looking for recognition. I’m just trying to inspire people.”
As of this week, he figures he thawed 311 vehicles since December. Along the way, friends helped him pay for gas for his own vehicle. His pal Justin Barron of Barron Realty sponsored fuel to get him started. Pearson posted a notice on the Fairbanks Alaska Facebook page and he hasn’t stopped responding to helping people since. Others also pitched in to help, loaning a vehicle when his truck died, providing hoses to repair heaters when needed. It was definitely a group effort, Pearson said.
Now that it is warmer, he wants to continue helping people so he is shifting gears. He intends to do grocery shopping for seniors and others who don’t want to leave the house or can’t leave the house.
Pearson said he will do the shopping and delivery free of charge.
He got this latest idea when someone contacted him this winter about a woman whose car had been stuck in place since November. The car had to be relocated for snow removal and the woman was low on groceries.
“I got her car started,” Pearson said.
But it got him thinking about additional ways to help this woman and others in similar predicaments.
If people want to shop online or via click list, he will pick up the order. If that is not possible, he’s happy to take a grocery list in hand and find the items himself. You pay the bill, he’ll provide the legwork.
“This has just grown into something that needs to continue,” he said. “We need to show everyone, now more than ever, that we need to come together as a community.”
He never imagined his personal form of pay it forward would evolve the way it has.
“I’m just a guy with a heater who had some time on his hands,” he said.
And he fully intends to go back to thawing frozen vehicles again next winter. His good work has led to other opportunities as well.
He thawed out a vehicle on Fort Wainwright and has a tentative invitation now to talk to families about how to properly winterize vehicles.
And he is expected to receive an award from the Alaska Peace Officers Association for his good citizenship.
“What an honor,” Pearson said. “I’m a huge supporter of law enforcement and first responders.”
If you can use his help, just look for his post on the Fairbanks, Alaska Facebook page. Just private message him, leave your phone number and he will call you back.
Reach columnist/community editor Kris Capps at email@example.com. Call her at the office 459-7546. Follow her on Twitter @FDNMKris.