Acts of Kindness: County employees make woman's birthday special after her car broke down

Sharon Jones was down and out when her vehicle broke down on her birthday. It was the middle of winter and she was stuck at the Lane County Transfer Station. But the county employees turned her day around and gave her a birthday to remember. (SBG photo)

LANE COUNTY, Ore.- Three women from Lane County Public Works Department went beyond their job duties when they saw Sharon Jones stranded at the Lane County Transfer Station.

Her car had broken down.

Jones said she remembers the cold night on January 6, when the winter storm was in full force.

Jones drove to the Lane County Transfer Station like she does frequently to recycle. However, on the stormy winter day, when she climbed back in the car to go home, the car engine wouldn't start.

"It looked like I was going to have to stay in town because I thought AAA wasn't going to make it," said Jones.

"She was very concerned, but we were concerned because it was so cold. So we were like, ‘Come in here ‘cause we have the heaters on,’" said Lane County Transfer Station employee Rikki Dahl.

With closing time fast approaching, workers in the waste management division volunteered to help.

"I said, ‘This certainly isn't how I intended on spending my birthday,’" said Sharon.

Then suddenly, the workers broke into song.

"So all of us got together and sang happy birthday to her it was awesome," said Lane County Transfer Station employee Ida Dooyen.

"It was so kind and so thoughtful and so caring that it made an event that could've been a very miserable situation into one of my favorite - will probably be, always be, my favorite birthday memory," said Jones.

Two and a half hours’ worth of waiting, and the staff stayed with Jones until her car was finally jump-started.

"The whole community here is incredibly kind, but I thought this was well above and beyond the call of duty," said Jones.

We learned about Sharon’s story after she wrote a thank you note to the county.

So we wanted to thank the Lane County Transfer Station workers with a gift card as part of our Acts of Kindness series.

"We would do it again, in a heartbeat," said Dooyen.

If you would like to nominate an individual or organization for NBC 16’s Acts of Kindness, send an email to

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