The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed healthcare workers to their limits. Gills Point S Tire & Auto, a family-owned, Oregon-based tire company with 17 locations, wanted to show it's appreciation to their efforts.
“Everywhere we looked, we saw bad news,” said Eric Gill, owner of Gills Point S Tire & Auto. “We wanted to do something to give back to our communities, but also bring to light some positive stories about people doing good.”
So, the company decided it would ask people across the state to nominate local heroes for a chance to win a free set of tires.
Gills Point S invited submissions from people in each of their stores’ communities, wanting to hear about “local people doing extraordinary things for those around them.”
The public delivered, with nominations that ranged from an IT employee in Salem who was going above and beyond to ensure businesses could keep their employees working from home, to a Hood River resident that organized local businesses to produce PPE for hospitals.
The winners were announced mid-April. Maria Mendiola was one of the local heroes chosen to receive a free set of tires. For her nomination, a resident of The Dalles wrote the following:
"I’d like to nominate Maria Cristina Mendiola for the local hero competition. During this pandemic, Maria is on the front lines testing patients at our One Community Health drive-up clinic in The Dalles. She demonstrates amazing courage and leads by example, often covering shifts to help out team members who may have immunocompromised family members or other situations and are not able to test patients. Without people with the courage of Maria we likely wouldn’t be able to contain the spread of the virus. I am very proud to be working with Maria and inspired by her leadership and courage during this challenging time in service of our community’s health."
“People around our state are doing amazing things,” said Gill. “Our business, along with many others, has taken a hit from COVID-19, but we wanted to do our part to give back by bringing stories like Maria’s to the forefront.”