Mystery acts of kindness on Bandolero Drive

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EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – One west El Paso neighborhood appears to have given a different meaning to the term ‘neighborhood watch’ during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Some families on Bandolero Drive are coming up with ways to look out for one another, especially their elderly or immunosuppressed neighbors. 

“Times are uncertain right now and there’s a lot of unknown,” said Julie Triplett, who lives on Bandolero Drive. She along with her husband, Austin, made cards to hang on door knobs offering to run errands or send a prayer to their neighbors, if needed. 

“I worked in the food industry and one of the things I loved early on was helping and serving people, said Austin Triplett. “I am currently a pastoral intern and that’s something I wanted to do, share the love of Christ with our neighbors because that is what [he] calls us to do and this seemed like a great opportunity to do that.” 

The Tripletts recently moved to El Paso after pursuing missionary work overseas. They say they do not really know their neighbors and hoped this would be a way to connect, while abiding to the City’s social distancing orders. 

Triplett told KTSM, “we had several neighbors reach out, text, or call us to say they don’t need anything right now, but would love to get together when this is over and calms down. It is a great way to get to know our neighborhood from a distance.” 

The Tripletts did not know their simple act of kindness had touched the hearts of the Boeckners a few doors up the street. 

Their neighbor, Richard Boeckner said, “when things like this happen you’ll always see the worst in people and the best in people. It’s usually more of the latter, the very best, that brings people out and El Paso is no exception.”

Boeckner said he had overcome many obstacles in his life, from fighting in the military, to surviving the destruction caused by natural disasters while living in Florida. He told KTSM the Triplett’s simple act of kindness made him emotional. 

“We went through Hurricane Andrew. It was devastating for us, so this reminded us of Hurricane Andrew where nobody knew what was going on, but you saw such good things come from people,” said Boeckner. 

Other neighbors on Bandolero Drive have left hand-painted pebbles below people’s mailboxes in the neighborhood. The pebbles were painted with words of encouragement on the top and signed by a ‘mystery’ artist on the bottom. 

“We were just amazed, now I’m going to start crying again,” said Boeckner. “We were just amazed at whoever did this and at the bottom of almost every mail box was a different rock”

Although neighbors have yet to piece together who left the pebbles near their mailboxes, they said they were thankful for the bright surprise. 

“What a beautiful way to encourage people and give artwork on the side of the road, it has been very refreshing as I walk my dog, I’ve enjoyed it,” said Austin Triplett. 

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