After learning that one of his co-workers walks 12 miles home from work daily, a FedEx employee decides to start a fundraiser to buy her a car.
60-year-old Darlene currently works at FedEx in Spartanburg, South Carolina, as a package handler. She has been with the company for almost seven years and works the morning shift, which usually starts at 4:00 AM.
Darlene had no trouble going to work that early every day, until her only car broke down three months ago. Its transmission went out and the radiator broke. Fortunately, Darlene had someone to take her to work. But after her shift, she had no choice but to walk the 12 miles going home because she couldn’t afford to have her vehicle repaired.
Even when it was raining, the senior woman would walk home and show up for work the next day just to do it all over again.
A few months ago, Josh Lewis – one of her co-workers – and his boss, Mark McDaniel, started noticing Darlene’s daily habit of walking along the busy roads after work. The pair have made it a point to stop and take Darlene for a ride every time they see her.
“We told her who we were and that we also worked at FedEx,” Josh said, “She must’ve felt safe enough to get in the car with us.”
Every time they ask her where she needs to go, she always tells them, Walmart. There, she would buy just enough groceries because that is all she can carry.
Josh says that Darlene is “so humble and grateful” for the rides that they have been giving her. Most of the time, she asks them if she can contribute gas money, and the pair would always decline her offer most politely.
To save up enough money to buy a car, Darlene has been working for 6 days a week. Josh felt that he could do something to improve her situation, so he went up to his boss and suggested that they start a GoFundMe campaign to raise enough money to buy her a car.
The fundraising page was published on October 22 and within a week, about a hundred people had donated enough money to get Darlene her new car!
Organizers worked with a local dealership to buy her a new car and they surprised her with it at work. Naturally, Darlene became emotional upon hearing the incredible news.
“It was amazing,” Josh said of the moment. “She just started bawling crying and saying how she can’t believe that this is happening to her.”
Aside from the help of her co-workers and strangers from all over the country, two locally-owned businesses who also wanted to help reached out to Josh. One of them wanted to give Darlene free oil changes and the other is offering tire service whenever she would need it. Josh said that they didn’t want to be named.
Darlene preferred not to speak about her story, but she permitted Josh to tell it on her behalf. He said that Darlene wished that she could personally say her thanks to everyone who chipped in for her new car. But because that wasn’t possible, she just gave Josh a card to share with the generous donors.
“I told her she’s just an inspiration,” Josh said. “I know I don’t think I would walk 12 miles just to go to work or to come home from work on a daily basis.”
It’s so beautiful to see a group of people unite towards achieving a common goal, especially if the purpose is to make someone’s life easier and better.
Watch the video below to see Darlene’s emotional reaction upon learning that she would get a new car.