Winning a car is probably one of the luckiest things that can ever happen to anyone.
That’s exactly what happened to Haley Bridges, 17, of Appleton, Wisconsin, during a company Christmas party raffle in December. However, instead of keeping the car for herself—as one normally would—she decided to give it to her co-worker!
Haley works at Chick-fil-A, where she met her would-be best friend and fellow Chick-fil-A employee, 19-year-old Hokule’a Taniguchi.
Hoku goes to work every day by bicycle, even during the winter. So when Haley learned that she had won a car during the company’s Christmas party raffle, she decided to give it to her co-worker.
Haley started working at Chick-fil-A in late August after a friend who goes to her school referred her to the job.
“I love working here. Not only are the people that work here amazing, but it has taught me so many new things. I always look forward to going to work, I get to see my second family,” she said.
Haley said she and her co-workers are always there to help one another, even with matters unrelated to the job. She and Hoku, in particular, formed an especially tight bond. They became fast friends in September and would spend time with each other outside of work all the time.
“What we do most of the time is chill at whoever’s house we choose,” said Haley. “We are very spontaneous, as well as our little close friend group we have.”
But it was during the Chick-fil-A Christmas party when Hoku saw how much her best friend and co-worker really cared for her.
Haley said the raffle was the main event of their annual Christmas party. Prior to the occasion, she’s been hearing rumors that the grand prize for that year would be a car.
Each employee would get raffle tickets, the number of which depended on how many hours they work. Haley received five tickets.
Haley, Hoku, and their friends arrived at the Grand Meridian—the event’s location—and confirmed that the rumors were true. There, in the banquet hall, was a car on display – the grand prize for the raffle.
Haley said their friend group has always been willing to help Hoku whenever they can. So they agreed that if any of them won the car, they would give it to her.
“The car was the only raffle where we couldn’t pool our tickets, one ticket per person,” Haley explained. “Our friend group and some other friends decided to all put one in for her. We were all very nervous that someone else would get chosen, but we kept our hopes up.”
And as if fate would have it, Haley was announced as the winner of the grand prize.
Once her name was called by one of their bosses, Haley said she and Hoku just looked at each other and started crying after realizing what had just happened.
“My heart felt as if it was racing and we both stood up and ran to each other,” Haley recalled of the moment.
“Everyone in the room felt like they were gone, it felt as if it was just us two in the moment. We hugged each other hard and cried so much. Everyone else was either crying or clapping. We all had a big group hug with everyone near us and it felt so unreal experiencing this.”
Haley winning the car meant everything to Hoku, who told her that if anyone else in the group had won it for her, it would be “amazing but not the same.”
“It’s crazy knowing that I was able to give my best friend a car!” the kindhearted teen said.
Haley, who already has a car, also received kindness from strangers after her incredibly generous act. Her aunt organized a fundraiser for her, and she got her car completely paid off!
Things are also starting to get better for her co-worker as she got approved to get an apartment closer to the Chick-fil-A where she works.
So far, the friends have gone for many rides together in Hoku’s new car.
Winning a car and giving it to someone else is something that many of us won’t do. But because Haley had such a big heart, she willingly gave it up to make her friend’s life a lot better.
Now that is one friend anyone would be lucky to have! Share this touching story with your friends and family.
Wednesday 10th of February 2021
It's so lovely to read stories about the wonderful ways people are showing their beautiful selves. Thanks once again.