David Cancino was raised by parents who taught him that helping people is part of living a happy and productive life. You do it without expecting anything in return.
But to Merry Cahoon, a wheelchair-bound Kennewick senior citizen, it was a godsend.
Cancino, 19, was driving down Kennewick Avenue recently and saw Cahoon, a grandmother and great-grandmother, trying to weed and rake her front yard from her wheelchair.
"She looked like she could use some help, so it was just a reaction to pull over and see what I could do," said the 2012 Kennewick High grad.
"My dad always did good deeds for people. He was that guy who always stopped to help people he saw on the side of the road who were having car trouble," said the son of Maria and Salvador Cancino of Kennewick. "Whenever my family was driving somewhere, my dad would undoubtedly see someone who needed help on the side of the road and he'd always stop."
Cahoon was overwhelmed by the teen's thoughtfulness.
"I was totally amazed by David's offer to help," she said. "He took the rake from me and finished the job. He also raked up all the weeds afterward. He is just the kindest young man."
But his Good Samaritan gesture didn't stop there. He gave Cahoon his name and phone number and told her if she needed any more help around the yard to call him.
A few days later, Cahoon gave him a call to ask if he could install some poles for a wire fence around her house, and Cancino was happy to oblige.
"I just don't want to take advantage of this wonderful young man's generosity, so I offered to pay him to help with the fence," Cahoon said.
But Cancino said that isn't why he's helping.
He works part time at the Baan Khun Ya Thai restaurant in Pasco, plus he's attending Columbia Basin College. He hopes to one day study culinary arts and become a chef at a Seattle-area restaurant.
"I'm happy to help Merry whenever I can," he said. "And I'm not looking to get paid for it."
And for that, Cahoon is grateful. "I can't thank David enough for his selfless service, and I thank his parents for raising such a thoughtful, considerate and helpful young man."
-- Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @dorioneal