TURLOCK -- A Sikh man who was the victim of a suspected hate crime was recognized in his city of Turlock for the endless good deeds he has done for the community.
Surjit Singh Malhi proudly thumbed through the pages of his scrapbook Thursday. The book is full of proud memories and for each good deed he has chronicled there’s at least one person in Turlock who has taken notice.
"He is always on the front lines whenever there’s a need," said Devinder Singh Bains, who is on the Turlock Chamber of Commerce's Board of Directors.
That’s why Malhi is the city’s newest Citizen of the Year.
"I’m very excited, yeah, just feeling great," Malhi told FOX40.
Bains said Malhi’s tireless efforts have provided those affected by tragedies, disasters and wildfires some solace.
"He’s distributing the cookies and milk and hot chocolate, and he's just a good soul," Bains said.
Malhi said it’s all about giving back to the community. He hopes others learn by his example and do the same for their communities.
But Malhi is no stranger to devastation himself. In August, two men attacked him and shouted at him to "go back to your country."
With the hate behind him, he is now focused on giving back to his adopted homeland.
"People give blood to build this country, what (have) I done, you know? It’s always the question coming from my heart," Malhi said.
Malhi will be honored by the Turlock Chamber of Commerce Thursday evening.