‘Pay it forward’ message spreads after free windshield replacement

Click to play video: 'Man has windshield replaced after it was smashed on N.B. highway' Man has windshield replaced after it was smashed on N.B. highway
A New Brunswick couple is "paying it forward" after their windshield was repaired free of charge. Callum Smith explains – Jan 2, 2019

A New Brunswick man says his faith in humanity has been restored.

Donald Gallant of Pointe-du-Chêne, N.B., says a kind gesture from a local auto glass shop — replacing his windshield free of charge — was a surprise that turned around the holiday season for him.

READ MORE: Department investigating after snow plowed from N.B. overpass shatters windshield

He says his windshield was shattered after snow was plowed from an overpass and came crashing down onto his vehicle as he was driving on Route. 15.

“To (see) this community come up, and step up, and actually really do something truly amazing … really blew my mind,” he said.

Donald Gallant’s windshield was replaced free of charge with the simple ask that he pay it forward. Callum Smith / Global News

Gallant’s girlfriend, Sylvie Nadeau, attempted to cover the costs to surprise her boyfriend.

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“I went in that day and asked Jeff, the owner, to not allow (Donald) to pay for it ahead of time,” she said.

“She wanted to pay it back to him as a Christmas present, and I thought. ‘We don’t have kids, we like passing things along,'” said Jeff Hendrickson, who owns Shediac Glass & Maintenance.

“So, I thought I’d give them both a Christmas present and give them a free windshield.”

Jeff Hendrickson, who owns a local auto glass shop, says he wanted to surprise the couple and cover their windshield replacement. Callum Smith / Global News

Hendrickson left Gallant and Nadeau with a simple request: pay it forward.

“Pass it along,” said Hendrickson. “See how far good will go.”

“To see someone in the community that I didn’t know, had met once to drop off my truck, to do that for me, really instilled a true faith in humanity,” said Gallant.

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So to keep with Hendrickson’s wishes, the couple went out — with Gallant dressed as Santa — and delivered a couple gifts to two families they knew were having a tough holiday season.

Gallant delivered presents and holiday spirit to a couple families he knew were having a tough time over the holidays. Contributed: Sarah McDermott

“It really put the drive of Christmas spirit into us,” said Gallant.

So after going through ups and downs, Gallant and Nadeau were not only able to avoid the stress of replacing a windshield, they were also able to pass along some good deeds.

“Giving a little bit goes a long way sometime,” said Hendrickson.

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