The struggle of working multiple jobs and juggling it with a couple of other responsibilities is nothing new to California student, Kayla Cooper. Things were growing difficult for her financially, but little did she know that a trip to a car dealership would bless her with a wonderful surprise beyond her wildest dreams.
The San Diego City College nursing student had gone to Auto City in El Cajon, California with the hopes of buying a secondhand Toyota Corolla. But soon after, she realized that she couldn’t afford the down payment for the used car.
Dan Laguardia, a father of four from San Diego, was also at the car dealership to trade in his 2005 Scion xB to buy a BMW. He couldn’t help but overhear the young lady’s conversation with the salesperson.
“I heard Kayla at the next table, she sounded like she was upset,” Dan told Good Morning America. “I really wasn’t trying to be nosy, but I heard her sales guy say, ‘Can somebody help you out? Do you have a family member or friend?’ That’s when I tuned into the conversation.”
Dan learned that Kayla had two jobs – one as a cashier at a 7-Eleven and another as a lot enforcer at Ace Parking in San Diego. She had been borrowing cars from friends and family just to get to work, and if she didn’t have her own by the end of the month, she would be losing one of her jobs.
“I use my car to work at Ace — that’s the only reason I got the position because I had a car,” Kayla told GMA. “I was feeling really upset because I went into [the dealership] with good intentions.”
Kayla broke down in tears upon learning that she couldn’t afford the car. The salesperson comforted her, but she left dreading the thought of losing her job at the local parking.
After Kayla left, Dan asked the sales guy if they got someone to help her. He said no and looked visibly upset. Dan then asked the salesperson to call and ask the customer to come back. Kayla returned 10 minutes later and Dan offered her his car that he was supposed to trade in – all for free.
“She just couldn’t believe it,” Dan recalled. “She said, ‘Can I give you a hug?’ and I said, ‘Of course.'”
Kayla says that she was shaking as Dan was signing over the car’s title and handed her the keys.
“It’s a whole car,” she said. “How can someone be so generous to give their car away?”
She added: “I’m still in shock about it because how could someone give it away without anything in return? I just want to thank him. It’s been the biggest blessing of my life. I hope and pray that someday I can do the same big gesture that he did.”
Dan knew that the car would give the struggling student “a bit of a jumpstart in life”. He added:
“Which, if everybody did that for everybody else, we’d be in a much better place”.
What an amazing act of kindness from such a generous man! As a hardworking student, Kayla truly deserved to receive that gift, and we salute Dan for being the good samaritan who blessed her with this incredible surprise.
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