A college student from Alabama named Walter Carr just got a job at Bellhops Moving. However, a setback happened the night before his first day at work – his 2003 Nissan Altima broke down. He reached out to his friends and his girlfriend to try to get a ride going to Pelham where he was scheduled to help a client move out, but nothing worked out.
But Walter was not the type who gets disheartened easily. While most people in this situation would have given up, he decided to show his dedication to the company by walking from his residence in Homewood to the client’s house in Pelham!
He checked his GPS and learned that it would take him about 7 hours to get there by 8 a.m, Friday. After a four-hour nap, Walter got up at midnight to begin his 20-mile journey.
“I wanted to be there before 8,” he said. “I wanted to beat the crew members there to let the company know how dedicated I am.”
About 14 miles into his trek, Pelham police officers making rounds spotted him on Saturday, 4 a.m, sitting on the ground and panting. The cops decided to pull over to check if everything was alright.
“He was like, ‘Where are you going?’ and I was like, ‘It’s hard to believe, it’s going to sound real crazy, but I’m actually headed to work.’” Walter said.
Walter shared his story with the police officers, and they were all amazed by his dedication. They decided to buy him breakfast and bought him a take-out lunch. Afterward, they contemplated on where they could safely drop him off to rest until he is ready to walk again. They eventually decided to take him to First Methodist Church and told him that they would send someone to check on him.
Walter rested for a while before he got up to trek again. He had less than 4 miles left on his journey when another police officer stopped him on the road.
“He said, ‘Are you Walter Carr?’ and he was like, ‘Get in the car, I got you,’” Walter said.
The officer then took him to the home of Jenny Lamey, the client Walter was scheduled to help that day. With the help of the kind cops, Walter was able to get there even before his shift started.
“Around 6:30 a.m. the doorbell rang. It was a police officer. He proceeded to tell us that he had picked up ‘this nice kid’ in Pelham early this morning. ‘The nice kid,’ Walter, said he was supposed to help us with our move today,” Jenny wrote on her Facebook post.
Jenny added that despite walking for hours, Walter declined their offer to rest upstairs until the rest of the crew arrived. Instead, he went ahead and got started with the job. Jenny and her husband, Chris, then worked alongside Walter until the rest of the movers arrived at their home.
By the end of the day, Jenny had nothing but kind words for the hardworking student.
“I just can’t tell you how touched I was by Walter and his journey. He is humble and kind and cheerful and he had big dreams! He is hardworking and tough,” she wrote on her Facebook post.
To help him with his car troubles, Jenny set up a GoFundMe for Walter.
But as it turns out, he actually wouldn’t need to spend the donated money to repair his car.
Bellhops CEO Luke Marklin got wind of the viral Facebook post and decided to drive from Tennessee to Alabama to show his appreciation to Walter personally. After having coffee with him, Luke led him outside and revealed his surprise for Walter – his personal 2014 Ford Escape!“I couldn’t think of a better way to part ways with this and put it to better use,” Luke said in a video of the moment.
Luke felt compelled to help Walter after hearing more of his story. The college student and his mother moved from New Orleans to Birmingham after losing their home in Hurricane Katrina. He also hopes to be a US Marine someday.
“Decisions in your life that are sometimes big and that you make pretty quickly because they’re the right thing to do — and this was one of them,” Luke told WMBA.
Walter was shocked and couldn’t believe what was happening. When it dawned on him that it was all real, he started to get emotional and thanked Luke for his gift. Jenny was also there to witness the moment Walter received his well-deserved gift.
“You’ve changed all of our lives, Walter,” she said. “You have no idea how many lives you’ve changed and inspired. You’re a very special young man and you’re going to do great things. You already have.”
Walter feels overwhelmed with all that has happened and is grateful to everyone who played a part in it.
“I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t think that 20-mile walk would mean anything to anybody.” he said. “I’m really thankful for it, the car, for everything.”
Watch the emotional moment Walter was presented with his car.