“I mean, it’s just about paying it forward and trying to change somebody else’s life. Sometimes you think your life’s not all that great and then you look around and there’s somebody that’s struggling more than you are.”

— Cody Resor, rodeo organizer, Willcox native

WILLCOX — There is a moving story coming out of this community regarding an act of kindness on Christmas Eve and the effect it has had on the people of Willcox and beyond.

It involves a cowboy, a hotel owner and the individuals who have banded together to provide assistance for a person in need.

On Dec. 24, Cody Resor, a stock contractor with Salt River Rodeo Company, spotted a homeless man alone near the Northern Cochise Community Hospital. It was not an encouraging sight for the holiday season. Resor kindly paid for a room at the SureStay Plus Hotel for a few nights and helped the man move in.

“Stuff stashed around where he was at,” Resor said. “Went and got him some food. I thought somebody ought to do something for that poor guy, just sitting out there in the cold. I thought maybe me making a difference could make a difference in his life.”

Resor was so right. He felt compelled to create a Facebook post based on his experience with helping the man to see if he could get him some more help.

“I just made a post on Facebook and then from there it went crazy,” Resor said. “I mean, everybody around really stepped up. Friends as far as Minnesota that were sending money to try and help him out.”

It made a merry Christmas for Abraham Vigil. When asked about Resor helping him out and the tremendous outpouring by the local community, Vigil responded by throwing his hands into the air and speaking a barely audible response.

“Wow! OK, wow,” Vigil said.

It’s difficult communicating with Vigil, 36. Injuries suffered in Las Vegas in 2018 apparently affected his hearing and speech. It took seven attempts to relay his story before what happened became somewhat clear.

It appears that Vigil was walking down a badly lit sidewalk in Las Vegas at night. He he didn’t see another person walking toward him. He ran into the individual, who then pushed him and cursed at him, causing him to fall, crashing into a light and then the ground. Vigil suffered a broken sternum, scarred his left arm all the way from the wrist to his elbow, injured his neck next to his jawline and injured the back of his head.

Asked if he was affected by the incident, he answered by pointing to his ears and mouth to show that he has difficulty being able to speak or hear.

It is uncertain how Vigil arrived in Wilcox. He has a diploma that shows he graduated from a New Mexico high school in 2001. Using body language and his barely clear speech, he indicated he was born in Oxnard, California, and lived there from 2008 to 2010, had a New Mexico driver’s license that expired in 2008, and lived in Winslow after leaving the hospital in Las Vegas.

He provided no information on how he arrived in Wilcox, but apparently had been in town for a while before Resor saw him. Vigil had been on the streets for a month or two beforehand, according to Timothy Anderson, general manager of the SureStay Plus, where Vigil is still rooming.

“The community, once Cody posted that on Facebook,” Anderson said. “It was almost an instant response. I was overwhelmed. I was shocked at how many people were coming in and helping him.

“We’ve been checking on him daily, making sure that he has towels and everything that he needs.

“Then at the same time, if someone drops some food off for him or water, we will bring him that as well.

“It’s all been people in the community. The community all of a sudden came pouring in and bringing him food and helping him with the nightly charges.”

Anderson said he couldn’t continue to house Vigil without community help. He says Vigil will have a home at the SureStay Plus until warmer weather arrives.

Resor is still using Facebook to update folks across the country on Vigil’s situation. Resor said he tries to visit him at least once a week although he had been too busy to do so recently.

“I know a lot of people across the United States with putting on rodeos like I do,” Resor says. “The cowboy life, everybody helps everyone out. I’ve had people reach out from all over the United States, honestly, that would call and pay for rooms. Then I had lots of people locally. There were people calling Pizza Hut, having food delivered to his room.

“I can’t remember the exact name of where we went the other day to try and get him a job. They were going to see if they could maybe figure out something for him to do. It’s just been amazing, the people from all over the world. It’s just been a really awesome thing.”