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While some people are changing lives through nonprofit organizations and large-scale efforts, Rob Hentschel is changing lives one man at a time.
One day, the beneficent owner of Roy’s General Store in Traverse City, Mich. Saw a camper parked in his lot. He went up to it and knocked on the door to meet a guy who introduced himself as the “Mountain Man.” Hentschel took him to lunch to hear more about his story.
As it turned out, Mountain Man, whose real name is William Berkshire III, was running low on funds and needed a place to park. Hentschel said he was welcome to stay in his parking lot for a few days.
Within those few days, Berkshire’s camper caught on fire. He lost everything. “When you’re standing there watching everything you ever worked for or owned go up in smoke, it’s kind of a hard one to solve,” he said.
The next morning, Hentschel assessed the damages and saw that Berkshire was in dire need of help. Not only did he give him a camper that he and his family didn’t use, but he also spread Berkshire’s story on Facebook, which prompted dozens of people to donate clothes, blankets, boots and more. They also stopped by the store to talk to Berkshire and give them their time and companionship. The Mountain Man says he “can’t thank Rob enough” for what he’s done.
“I think there’s a basic human need to be a part of other people’s lives, and when someone has a tragedy, it’s such an opportunity to reach out to them and be a big part of their life,” Hentschel added. “And that’s something they’re going to remember and you’re going to remember.”