Alabama Employee Gets New Car From Boss After 20-mile Walk
PELHAM, AL – July 18, 2018
A young Alabama college student who lost his home in Hurricane Katrina was gifted a new car after he walked 20 miles to make it on time for his first day at a new job.
When Walter Carr's car broke down the night before he was supposed to start a new job, he didn't panic. Instead he walked. From Homewood to Pelham. All night. In the dark. 20 miles or more.
He had made it to Pelham at 4am when police officer Mark Knighten saw him walking on the side of the road and asked if he was okay. Carr explained to him that he was walking to work, and why, and Knighten took action.
Knighten, along with officers Klint Rhodes and Carl Perkinson then took Carr to Whataburger, where they not only bought him breakfast but told him to get lunch to go as well.
Because it was still so early, Knighten said they took Carr to a church because that was the safest place to leave him until it was time for him to be at work.
Officer Scott Duffey was just coming on the clock and his fellow officers told them about their morning. Duffey then went in search of Carr who had already left the church to walk to his job assignment, which was almost in Chelsea.
Duffey picked him up and drove him to the Lamey's house, where he knocked on the door and explained the situation.
Praise for Mr Carr has flooded social media since his story was shared.
Jenny Lamey, a customer of the moving firm, wrote on Facebook that she and her husband had awoken early last Friday to prepare for movers who were due to arrive at around 08:00.
At 06:30, their doorbell rang, and Ms Lamey met Mr Carr, who was accompanied by a police officer from the Pelham police force.
"He proceeded to tell us that he had picked up ‘this nice kid’ in Pelham early this morning," said Ms Lamey.
"The nice kid, Walter, said that he was supposed to help us with our move today."
She continued: "He WALKED ALL NIGHT to get from Homewood to Pelham. Because he needed to get to work. For those reading this that are not local, that’s over 20 miles."
"The police officer said they picked him up earlier that morning, took him to get some breakfast and once they checked his story out, brought Walter to our house."
Ms Lamey said she offered him a rest before the moving crew arrived, but Mr Carr declined and got right to work.
While helping her with the kitchen, she said, he told her of his childhood in New Orleans, Louisiana, and how his family had moved to Houston, Texas, after their home was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.
Carr plans to graduate from Lawson State in December with an associate's degree in health sciences. He wants to join the U.S. Marines and then come back to Birmingham to get his bachelor's degree in physical therapy.
Carr said he is so thankful for all who stepped in. "This was the first job in a long time to give me an opportunity to get hired,'' he said. "I wanted to show them I got the dedication. I said I'm going to get to this job one way or another.''
Carr not only got his job. Kindness and concern from four Pelham police officers coupled with publicly-posted words of amazement and admiration from the moving company's clients about Carr's work ethic and dedication, led to Bellhops CEO Luke Marklin driving down from Tennessee and telling Carr that he wanted to grab a cup of coffee with him to personally thank him.
Instead the CEO surprised Carr with his own barely-used 2014 Ford Escape.
Mr Carr broke down in tears after receiving the gift.
"I want people to know this - no matter what the challenge is, you can break through the challenge. Nothing is impossible unless you make it impossible,'' he said. "You can do anything you set your mind to. I've got God by my side. I'm really emotional right now trying to hold back the tears."
"God blessed me to be a blessing,'' he said. "Whatever challenges God puts in front of me I know its for a reason."