October 18, 2015

A family extends a big thank you for a kind gesture - By Michelle Libby

 Rebecca McCraw and her family have had a rough two years. First she was diagnosed with breast cancer, had to have a double mastectomy and bought a $6,000 car, which turned out to be a lemon. They spent another $1,000 on a car that was owned by a friend of theirs, but it wouldn’t pass inspection. 

Just after Rebecca heard she was cancer free, her husband, Thomas, was diagnosed with carcinoid cancer a very rare cancer that is terminal. The blended family with four boys are active in soccer and need transportation to get to and from medical appointments that help prolong Thomas’ life. 

“Us and our boys have been through hell in the last couple of years,” Rebecca said. The family of six is trying to survive on two disability incomes, she said. 

Rebecca was frazzled, and with the $1,000 they managed to scrape together, a friend gave her Randy Perkins’ name at Perks Peak Auto Sales/Service. She said that Randy could find them a car with the little money they had.  

“We brought our car over there. He fixed our van and didn’t charge us anything,” she said in disbelief. “We had so many people tell us the minivan wasn’t worth fixing and he did it in a weekend,” she added.
The day they went to pick up the van, they were told to take it. The second day, they went hoping for the bill. “He said, ‘just to take it and spend the money on the family’.” 

Rebecca praised the Windham community and those moms from her sons’ soccer team who have helped them in the last two years, including making dinners every night for two weeks when she had her mastectomy. 

“At first I thought of this as handouts, but we’d be worse off without all this help,” Rebecca said.
Randy Perkins hadn’t met the McCraw family before they came to him asking for a car. He had a car they could have made work, but it might not be that good for them, Perkins said. He asked to keep their car over the weekend, and when they agreed, he tore it apart and got it back on the road. 

“I hope anybody would have done the same thing,” said Perkins. “I hope someone would do the same for me if I was in that same situation. Circumstances put them there. They just need a hand and not a handout.” 

Perks Peak Auto and Perkins have been in the car business since 1989 and his father bought the shop in 1975. Perkins’ grandfather also worked in the automotive industry. The family business includes Perkins’ brother as well. Perkins said he learn from his grandfather about doing the right thing.
“You try to do the best you can. You only have one trip around,” he said.  

Perkins works to make sure that buying or fixing a car is a fun process and not a bad one for his customers. 

“The guy didn’t know me. It may not be a big deal for him, but it was a big deal for us. He restored my faith in people,” Rebecca said. 

Perks Peak Auto Sales/Service from Windham can be found on Facebook.

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