A Buffalo body shop knew just what to do when a truck covered in racist slurs pulled in.

On a beautiful Tuesday morning, a customer pulled up to Frank Todaro's Buffalo, New York, body shop in a silver truck covered in ugly racial slurs.

"I noticed the shop got real quiet, so I turned around and I saw this graffiti with terrible language on it. And I was like, ‘Wow is this really happening?'" recalls Todaro.

Photo by Collision Masters/Facebook.


Henry King, the truck's owner, told WKBW that the graffiti appeared the morning after an altercation with two neighbors, who allegedly told the South Buffalo resident, "We'll get you kicked off this street. You don't belong here."

Police are still investigating the incident.

"I really didn’t ask any questions — how, what, why. I just knew we had to get that off," Todaro says.

Like a NASCAR pit crew, Todaro's team jumped in and scrubbed the car clean. The paint was off in 30 minutes.

After finding the right chemical to remove the paint, seven or eight of the shop's technicians worked on the truck until the graffiti was removed, according to Todaro.

Photo by Collision Masters LLC/Facebook.

"It was nice to have that feeling around the shop that everyone came together and cared for someone else," Todaro said.

When the cleanup was complete, Todaro refused to take King's money.

“Buffalo is the city of good neighbors. That’s our foundation. We should be known for that," he said.

Todaro posted about the encounter on Facebook, where his account quickly went viral.

Many commenters praised the shop for quickly and selflessly supporting a neighbor.

Other Buffalo residents noted that the attack accurately reflects their experiences of racism in the city and urged their neighbors to do better.

"After the first day of just watching this go viral and people commenting, sharing their own opinions and their own experiences, I’m like, 'Wow, there is a problem out there, and you know what, if I’m going to be that guy that kind of gets things going and hopefully more positive comes out. I am all about it," Todaro says of the reactions to the post.

Todaro and his team received a proclamation from Buffalo's mayor and calls from local politicians in the days since the spur-the-moment repair.

King, too, called to express his thanks.  

Still, the shop owner says, the experience has taught him that when it comes to bigotry and racism, there are still many repairs to make.

"We won the battle on this one, but we've still gotta win the war."

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

Ready for the weekend? Of course, you are. Here's our weekly dose of good vibes to help you shed the stresses of the workweek and put yourself in a great frame of mind.

These 10 stories made us happy this week because they feature amazing creativity, generosity, and one super-cute fish.

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Hawaiian underwater photographer Yuki Nakano befriended a friendly porcupine fish and now they hang out regularly.

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