Four Wheels Make a Difference

Every day we see and hear about rudeness, cruelty, and inhumanity, but tonight I'd like to share a story I was a part of this week that will help restore your faith in the goodness of people. Read it only if you want to feel better about the world.

One of my young students has had a rough life -- family, circumstances, and things I won't detail to protect her privacy, but trust me, she's survived a lot. In the last two weeks, she has had even more problems and lost access to the car she was using to get to work and school. Before she told us what happened, she was actually walking to her job and to school -- which took her several hours. So we've been trying to help her, giving her some reputable car dealerships and making sure she has a ride.

She wasn't able to get a loan from the dealerships she tried, so one night this week I posted it on Facebook: One of my students needs a car, just something with four wheels that runs. Nothing. Then Thursday night, I drove her to yet another dealership that had been working to process her paperwork. The loan wasn't denied, but it wasn't approved either, the salesperson said. Check back next week. She turned to me, total despair in her eyes. "Ms. Martin, what am I going to do if I can't get a car?" she asked, near tears.

Late that night, I got a Facebook message from the amazing and wonderful Alison Sexter. My post -- that I had put up two days before -- had  showed up in her feed. She had a car, a VW Beetle, that was still in great condition, with a good motor and good tires. She bought another car over Thanksgiving, and her husband kept bugging her to list the Beetle for sale. Someone needs that car, she told him for weeks. Just wait. Someone needs it.

I drove the student over to her house tonight, and Alison handed over the keys. She insisted on only taking the money my student had saved up for a down payment, far less than the car was worth. And my student is ecstatic. She texted me multiple times today while she was at her job, saying she was too excited to work. When she finally had the keys in her hand, she kept saying how she couldn't believe that car was hers. She has always wanted a Beetle, she said.

- Mariann Martin