South Floridians help father struggling amid coronavirus pandemic

(WSVN) - He fell on tough times because of the pandemic. Eventually the repo man came for his car. The young father was out of luck until South Florida saw his story. Here’s the happy ending in tonight’s Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

So many stories from today are terribly sad, but this Help Me Howard turned out incredibly well.

Tony Pecnik: “There are a lot of people hurting.”

Linda Pecnik: “So we all have to work together.”

Let’s back up.

Like so many people, the coronavirus cost Latrell his job. Then things got worse.

Latrell Robinson: “Definitely a lot of stress about bills, like being behind on things, especially my car payment.”

Latrell is the father of two adorable boys. Without a paycheck, he spent his small savings taking care of them and fell a month behind on his car payment.

It got repossessed.

Latrell Robinson: “I told the lady, ‘We are in the middle of a pandemic right now. How are you going to come and take my car and leave me out there like that?'”

Legally, Howard said, if Latrell didn’t have the money for the back payments, plus the $650 repo fee, he was out of luck.

Our story aired. Linda and Tony were watching.

Tony Pecnik: “Linda and I, our hearts opened up, and Linda said, ‘Oh, my God, Tony. We’ve got to help him.'”

They weren’t the only ones. Around 50 people contacted 7News wanting to help Latrell, stunning him.

Latrell Robinson: “I can’t be more grateful for everything that happened, for the donations, all the calls, words of encouragement and wisdom. It just all means a lot to me.”

The Pecniks saw a young man struggling, and it brought back memories of their younger years.

Tony Pecnik: “We came from very humble, humble means. I still remember having an outhouse, and I still remember the newspaper.”

Linda Pecnik: “Me too.”

Help Me Howard viewers had given Latrell the money to get his car back and get back on his feet, but Linda and Tony wanted to make sure he didn’t have to deal with the car payments again.

They shocked Latrell with a $5,000 check to pay off his car loan.

Latrell Robinson: “I was, like, overwhelmed and happy at the same time.”

In addition to the $5,000 check, Linda gave Latrell some cash for his sons.

Linda Pecnik: “Darling, this is for your children, it’s $500.”

The Pecniks weren’t the only viewers who wanted to help Latrell take care of his sons.

Latrell Robinson: “One guy actually called me, he’s like, ‘Hey, I’m calling to help out these boys. It’s not about you. It’s about them.'”

Latrell got his car back and paid off the loan. It was a remarkable 24 hours.

Latrell Robinson: “I got a new job today, so today was a great day for me. It was a lot of blessings happening.”

He said a prayer for everyone who stepped forward for him.

Latrell Robinson: “Dear Lord, I just thank you today for everything that you have done for me. Everything you have done for all of us.”

Latrell certainly feels blessed.

Latrell Robinson: “People are actually out there that care. They’re actually watching it, and they want to help me out.”

That is nice. Thank you, Tony and Linda, and thanks to the many people who also helped Latrell. He said he is now caught up on his bills, and with a new job, he couldn’t be happier. South Floridians are amazing.

Don’t have the heart to keep battling a problem? Ready to donate it to someone? Be kind enough to give it to us, and let us repossess the high road for you.

Reporter: Patrick Fraser at
Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN
Broward: 954-761-WSVN

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