NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Strangers are coming together in an act of kindness to help one man say his final goodbyes to his father.

It was in a cat sanctuary in the basement of Denise Lauffer’s building where she found some of the maintenance men working on something unusual.

“They were attempting to make a tombstone, and I was just blown away with what I was watching,” Lauffer told CBS2’s Charlie Cooper.

On their hands and knees, Dionny Acosta and his colleagues were using cement and wood to create a headstone in the shape of a cross for his father who passed away in April.

“It was a great loss for me to lose my father. He was a very complaisant father. He cared for me very much,” Acosta said in Spanish.

Acosta’s first attempt to make the tombstone crumbled to pieces, but he tried again.

He says it was a painful experience to work on it, but he did it solely for the love he has for his father.

“When I saw it, I’m like, I don’t know if this is going to hold up to the weather, and clearly there was no money to buy a tombstone,” Lauffer said.

That’s when Lauffer sprang into action, creating a GoFundMe to help raise money to buy one. They’re close to reaching their goal of $2,000.

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“A lot of these people I have never met and certainly have never met him. It’s basically strangers that have donated to the FundMe,” she said.

What’s it like to know that so many of these people who gave were complete strangers?

“Shocked, absolutely shocked. It was like it wasn’t sinking in and he was just looking at my phone and I was like, that’s for your dad, and he’s just like, oh my God. He was clearly moved,” Lauffer said.

Acosta says he’s extremely grateful for the support he’s gotten through this tough time and wants to help others the way he and his family have been helped.

Click here to donate to Lauffer’s GoFundMe.

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