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Man who walked 20 miles to work gets boss' car

The CEO of a company gifted a car to his employee when he found out the young man walked 20 miles to work in Alabama.

Posted: Jul 18, 2018 12:46 PM
Updated: Jul 18, 2018 1:06 PM

When an Alabama college student's car broke down the night before his first day at a new job, there was one thing he knew he wouldn't do: Not show up.

So he walked to work. For 20 miles.

After he asked someone for a ride and it fell through, Walter Carr walked all night from Homewood, Alabama, south to Pelham. He needed the job at Bellhops moving company, even though his phone told him it would take him seven hours on foot.

"I've never been that person that gives up," said Carr, 20. "I've just never seen myself doing that. I can only be defeated if I allow myself do be defeated."

And what began as a man determined to get to work on time became so much more -- a community coming together to change a life.

Local police officers helped him

Carr began his journey about 11:40 p.m. Friday in Homewood, a suburb of Birmingham. He made it to Pelham by about 4 a.m. Saturday, but still had a ways to go before he reached the address of the woman he was hired to help move.

Pelham police officer Mark Knighten was making rounds in his patrol car when he saw Carr sitting on the ground, catching his breath. Because it was so late, Knighten pulled over to see what was going on.

"Less than a minute from hearing his story, we were like, wow, this kid seems determined," Knighten said.

Knighten and his two partners took Carr to breakfast and got him lunch to go. Then they took him to a church to rest before his shift started at 8 a.m.

When Carr continued his walk to work several hours later, another officer found him and drove him the rest of the way to the Pelham home of Jenny Lamey.

Because Carr was early, Lamey asked if he'd like to rest upstairs in her house until the rest of the movers arrived. He said no and got to work.

Lamey was impressed by Carr's story and shared her thoughts later on Facebook.

"I just can't tell you how touched I was by Walter and his journey," she said. "He is humble and kind and cheerful and he had big dreams! He is hardworking and tough. I can't imagine how many times on that lonely walk down 280 in the middle of the night did he want to turn back. How many times did he wonder if this was the best idea. How many times did he want to find a place to sit or lie down and wait 'til morning when he could maybe get someone to come pick him up and bring him back home. But he walked until he got here! I am in total awe of this young man!"

Then his employer stepped up

When Bellhops CEO Luke Marklin learned of Carr's story through Lamey's Facebook post, he was impressed by Carr's determination and character.

"We are a company that is trying to change a broken, not customer-friendly industry," Marklin said. "We're trying to transform that with a lot of heart and a lot of grit. And when I read that story on Sunday I was blown away, and I couldn't think of a better story of what this company is all about."

Marklin decided that since the only thing standing in the way of Carr excelling at his company seemed to be reliable transportation, he would do something about it.

So he gave Carr his own 2014 Ford Escape.

"It seemed like the car was going to be put to a lot better use," Marklin said. "He's just awesome. He's our role model."

Inspired by Carr's story, Lamey started a GoFundMe campaign to help him out and set the campaign's goal at $2,000. As of Tuesday evening, it had raised more than $11,000.

Carr is in awe of the support he has received.

"I'm still in shock," Carr said. "I thank him [Marklin] ... I thank everyone for taking their time to listen to my story."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1118335

Reported Deaths: 17712
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1455892240
Lake724831254
Allen67063882
Hamilton51060487
St. Joseph49820649
Elkhart40268546
Vanderburgh34714497
Tippecanoe30808276
Johnson27696467
Hendricks26313385
Porter25657386
Madison21131455
Clark20238279
Vigo19059309
LaPorte17192261
Howard16770314
Delaware16761303
Monroe16628220
Kosciusko14293167
Hancock13113186
Bartholomew12983190
Warrick12210190
Wayne12090269
Floyd12011226
Grant11998245
Morgan10409192
Boone9869124
Noble9316122
Henry9177169
Marshall9152147
Dearborn8970100
Dubois8835140
Shelby8281130
Cass8167128
Lawrence8057185
DeKalb7817109
Jackson770793
Huntington7661115
Gibson7102118
Montgomery7101123
Harrison6954100
Knox6915116
Steuben669089
Whitley659660
Miami6595113
Putnam645085
Clinton627179
Wabash6221111
Jasper613192
Jefferson5856105
Ripley557294
Adams542281
Daviess5076117
Scott491580
Wells4836105
White478469
Greene4701101
Clay464662
Decatur4611110
Fayette452496
Jennings452067
LaGrange427491
Posey410044
Randolph3944107
Washington390956
Fountain375964
Fulton364874
Spencer362247
Starke355574
Owen353577
Sullivan348555
Orange331372
Jay331050
Rush309533
Carroll296239
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Perry290553
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Parke250130
Pike248644
Blackford222144
Pulaski210359
Newton182452
Brown177550
Crawford169129
Benton168417
Martin152120
Switzerland147612
Warren135816
Union122616
Ohio92413
Unassigned0595

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1717876

Reported Deaths: 26851
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1793291843
Cuyahoga1681592655
Hamilton1137721544
Montgomery805721405
Summit719531210
Lucas630291027
Butler56852814
Stark538501183
Lorain42330645
Warren35959417
Mahoning35798788
Lake32314501
Clermont31289369
Trumbull27344620
Delaware27206185
Licking26658344
Medina26042353
Fairfield24638287
Greene24378373
Clark22122390
Portage21257283
Richland21102342
Wood20128248
Allen18969326
Miami17338352
Columbiana16905335
Muskingum16726207
Wayne15740307
Tuscarawas14454362
Marion13332196
Ashtabula12732237
Erie12685199
Scioto12475188
Pickaway12260155
Ross11719226
Hancock11529175
Geauga10934179
Lawrence10653172
Belmont10459234
Huron9805159
Jefferson9632228
Union957375
Sandusky9348166
Seneca8917161
Knox8792176
Washington8688159
Darke8399181
Athens838197
Ashland8029152
Auglaize7943120
Shelby7511135
Defiance7358117
Crawford7281150
Fulton7215113
Brown7173116
Logan7003111
Guernsey696186
Mercer6933100
Highland6745120
Clinton6526106
Williams650099
Madison649790
Preble6274140
Putnam6244122
Jackson581597
Champaign580887
Perry566779
Coshocton5645108
Ottawa5641102
Morrow517765
Fayette494072
Hardin4895100
Gallia471478
Van Wert467895
Pike465578
Adams4592110
Henry434280
Hocking410193
Holmes3999141
Wyandot377675
Carroll366178
Paulding325451
Meigs305961
Monroe235961
Noble220349
Morgan216939
Harrison213153
Vinton187638
Unassigned06
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Saturday is looking great, with warmer temperatures, wet and windy conditions returning Sunday.
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