SAN DIEGO — The lives of two homeless men in Ocean Beach known for picking up trash have been changed forever. In this Zevely Zone, I went to Mission Valley to see the wonderful unveiling of a 'Minivan Makeover'.
In September, two homeless men were spotted on a webcam picking up trash in Ocean Beach. Marc Gervais and Dave Hendon have been cleaning the parking lot at the pier and living in their broken-down minivan with their dog Pico for years without fanfare.
We convinced them to give a Go Fund Me page a shot and more than $30,000 poured in and more. Jeremy Klieger from San Diego Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram offered the men a minivan makeover.
"Because we need good right now," said Jeremy.
The van that was on its last leg is all fixed up.
"I think I'm in love with it all over again. This absolutely awesome," said Marc as the van was driven out of the shop after Jeremy and his mechanics worked on it for weeks.
"We did calipers, brakes, radiator, cylinder heads," said Jeremy. "We did cooling system flush, we changed the oil... basically got it up in good running condition."
The repair work was valued at $6,500 but it was on the house to thank these men for their kindness. Marc and Dave never wanted any attention for picking up trash and what is striking to me about this story is Jeremy and more than twenty of his technicians who worked on this van don't want any attention either. I asked them to allow me to share the good news with our viewers. They would have been happy to skip the media coverage.
"No one got paid, everyone did it for free, the technicians, the dealership everyone did it for free," said Jeremy.
"We just wanted to do good for the people who are doing good for the community I mean they deserve it why not?"
Marc then said, "I owe him a bear hug as soon as COVID is over. The whole crew gets a bear hug."
As much as their dog Pico loves the minivan, he is not going to have to live in it any longer thanks to the community's donations Marc and Dave just rented their first apartment.
"It feels great," said Dave.
When asked if he is still picking up trash every day, Dave said, "Yeah, we ain't going to quit, why would we quit?"
It was time for Dave and Marc to climb in their upgraded ride.
"You guys are awesome thank you so, so, so, much," said Marc.
"This just touches our hearts so much." Jeremy said, "It was our pleasure."
The two men who pick up trash by the ocean have learned to never underestimate the power of dropping one pebble into a sea of goodness.
"That ripple just keeps going out further and further. You guys touched us, we touch others, they touched others yet and it just keeps going," said Marc.
Before the makeover, the minivan was not starting but that has changed for Marc and Dave, "Turn the key and it goes! I love it, I love it, you guys changed our lives thank you, thank you!"
Marc and Dave were able to pre-pay their rent for six months. They want to thank all of San Diego for your kindness.