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After his car broke down the night before the first day at his new job, Alabama man Walter Carr decided he wouldn’t let anything get in his way. He left his house at midnight and began the 20-mile trek to work.
Four hours later, Pelham police spotted Carr on the road some 14 miles from where he started in Homewood. After hearing what happened, the officers took him to get breakfast and gave him a ride to the home of Jenny Hayden Lamey, where he was supposed to begin work as an employee for Bellhops, a moving company.
Lamey shared Carr’s story on her Facebook page where it received hundreds of likes, shares, and comments.
She described seeing the officers at her door in the early morning and learning about Carr’s determination to get to work. “You could tell how the officer told us this story that he had complete admiration for Walter, and by my reaction, he could tell I did too,” Lamey wrote in her post.
Carr told her that he was from New Orleans but moved to Birmingham with his mother after they lost their home to Hurricane Katrina. She also said that he was a Marine and called him “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,” Lamey wrote. “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!”
She ended the post praising the Bellhop workers for their hard work and service.
Somehow my original post was deleted. Here is it again!! I am overwhelmed that it was shared over 800 times in one day!...Posted by Jenny Hayden Lamey on Sunday, July 15, 2018
When the CEO of Bellhops, Luke Marklin, came across the story, he showed his appreciation in a big way—by giving Carr a 2014 Ford Escape.
We've all seen the amazing story shared by Jenny about one of our bellhops, Walter Carr, but many have asked if we have any video from the moment CEO @LukeMarklin thanked Walter for the perseverance he demonstrated on his first day w/ @BellhopsMoving #TheWorldNeedsMoreWalters pic.twitter.com/mXrvI2JQoP— Bellhops (@BellhopsMoving) July 17, 2018
Marklin also posted a Twitter status commending Carr’s determination. “I’m really proud to be on the same team as Walter,” he wrote, adding that he looked forward to thanking Carr in person.
This is an incredible story. The grit and heart Walter showed defines Bellhops' culture precisely. I'm really proud to be on the same team as Walter... we set a high bar on service and he just raised it. Look forward to thanking him in person this week. https://t.co/Fr4ytu5CM1— Luke Marklin (@LukeMarklin) July 15, 2018
Lamey posted an update to Facebook expressing her appreciation for everyone’s support and thanking Marklin and the police officers. She had also started a GoFundMe to help Carr fix his car that quickly surpassed its $2,000 goal and made over $15,000.
Y’all. I am blown away. I would say I am rendered speechless but, in my case when I am overwhelmed, the opposite...Posted by Jenny Hayden Lamey on Monday, July 16, 2018
“In life there will be hard circumstances to overcome,” she wrote. “But when I encounter those days and those trials and when I am helping my boys through them as well, I am pretty sure that just two words will help shift our mindset….but Walter.”
Kristina Nguyen is an editorial intern for the Daily Dot. She is studying journalism and American studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She has previously contributed to Orange magazine and Silk Club's QUIET! zine.