Teen Who Walked In Order To Get To Work Daily Receives Life-Changing Donation From Passerby
Feb 16, 2021 by apost team
While many of us see childhood and young adulthood as carefree times compared to the drudgery of a 40-hour workweek, not everyone grows up with such privileges.
Jayden Sutton is a high school senior who's already familiar with working long hours and wearing many hats in his life. At the time of this story, he was working 40 hours a week and walking to work every day after a day of school. However, Sutton was simultaneously trying to save money to purchase a car. Lavonda Wright saw him walking to work one day and gave him a ride. After meeting the young man, she wanted to make life a little easier for him.
The 18-year-old lives in Cobb County, Georgia. He is a regular kid who attends high school and has normal tasks such as homework, tests, and preparing for high school graduation. However, Jayden Sutton is different than the average teenager because of the long hours that he works.
In January 2021, Jayden Sutton's daily routine included walking from school to his job and back home. Sutton would leave school around 3:30 p.m. and walk straight to work for a six to eight-hour shift, usually ending around 10:30 p.m. After a 7-mile walk to his house, it would typically be well past midnight by the time Sutton got to go home and sleep.
The teenager’s family has seen some hard times. Sutton's mother had lost her job. She also was involved in an accident and totaled her vehicle. Sutton was walking because his mother no longer had the car.
Who Is Jayden?
Sutton told Fox News, "I knew that if I had to walk to work every day to get a car, that is what I was going to do.” This teen seemed determined to help out at home and earn enough money to buy a vehicle.
Wright was headed to dinner with her son one day when she saw Sutton, as she recounted in a GoFundMe post. The teenager was walking briskly down the road in the rain in December 2020. Wright’s son told her that Sutton was a friend from school and asked his mother to pull over to check on his friend.
Sutton told them he could not be late for work. The teenager asked Wright for a ride, and she agreed. It gave Wright a chance to get to know Sutton. She asked Sutton about using rideshare options for work. Sutton told her he could not afford to pay Uber to take him back and forth every day. He chose to walk and didn't complain about it.
Wright was impressed by the teenager’s maturity and diligence. She had asked for his Cash App to send him money for an Uber for the rest of the week. It led to her creating a GoFundMe page to help Sutton purchase a car. Before getting out of the vehicle, Sutton told Wright he understands why her son refers to her as a blessing. By the time Wright presented Sutton with his new car, the page had raised around $7,000, but it's currently over $11,000 at the time of publication and is still going strong.
It Takes A Village
“It takes a village to raise a child” is an African proverb. Some communities go through challenges that make it difficult to raise children. These social challenges may include job loss, exploitation of natural resources, and health crises. Communities must come together to confront the challenges they are facing. It is okay to lend your neighbor a helping hand sometimes.
In this story, the Georgia community came together to help a student. When Wright started the GoFundMe, she told Sutton’s story. She explained that the teenager got off work at 10:30 p.m. and had to walk seven miles home. Sutton’s co-workers would give him a ride on some nights but not every night.
She posted the story to her Facebook account to make the public aware of the situation, according to the video below. Wright initially set the GoFundMe at a $4,000 goal. However, she received $6,365 in donations within two days. She was likely pleased about the quick response and happy that so many people cared. Wright contacted Nalley Honda in Union City about purchasing the vehicle as a surprise.
The car was initially listed at $7,800, but the general manager agreed to go down on the price, as reported in the video below. Wright has a very strong faith and believed Sutton was put in her life for a reason, as her Facebook post explained.
It was a community effort to make this dream come true. This purchase would not have been possible without Wright, the people who donated money and the Nalley Honda dealership.
Wright set up a date to surprise Sutton and invited his mother, the media, friends, and family. As they were walking around the dealership, Wright said, “First of all, let me say this is your car!” Sutton seemed surprised and broke into a big smile. He told Wright how grateful he was and what it meant to receive the car. Sutton said during the interview, “I love her for it. I just want to thank you so much. You don’t even understand how much.” He turned to Wright and hugged her.
Wright also got a chance to meet Sutton’s mother. She shared a photo on Facebook of this special moment. She put up a picture of her and Sutton standing in front of the Honda Civic. They both wore big smiles and now have memories that will last forever. Sutton had a message for people fighting the good fight. He wants them to stay encouraged.
Sutton said, “If you’re doing something good or trying to reach a goal keep doing it. You might get some help. That’s what happened to me.”
Everybody has had low points, and you may not know how to recover from these setbacks. It also helps to know that strangers are often watching over you. There are other stories like Sutton's. For example, James Robertson was a 56-year-old Detroit man who walked for 21 miles in any weather conditions to work for 10 years, as ABC News reported back in 2015. Robertson had a 1988 Honda that broke down, but he could not afford to buy a new vehicle.
Other Heartwarming Stories
Robertson worked a full-time job but was making less than $11 an hour at a plastic factory. Eventually, he received outpouring support from his local community. A local Ford dealership gave him a red 2015 Ford Taurus with a price tag of $35,000. An anonymous fund was even set up for Robertson that raised over $300,000.
The outpour of love left Robertson speechless. He told Fox News, "I really couldn't express how I'm feeling right now about this whole thing.” Robertson got emotional as he took in everything and started to tear up.
He went on and said: “There were times I was thinking that sometimes I didn't want to go on, but then a voice inside of me said leave it alone because your girlfriend don't want to hear about, your boss don't want to hear about it, your co-workers don't want to hear about and your friends don't want to hear about it.”
In 2020, a 24-year-old mother of two from Franklin County, Kansas, had to walk six miles to work at Love’s Truck Stop, according to CDL Life. The police became aware of the mother from calls made by local citizens. Drivers would see the woman walking along Highway 59 in the cold around 7 a.m. Although it's a 15-minute drive, the walk along Highway 59 is a long one. It took the drivers by surprise to see the woman walking along the highway, and they thought she was in need. When the police officers answered the calls, they found out the mother was just walking to work.
She did not have a vehicle and needed to work to feed her two small children. The police officers did not want her to walk in the cold, so they would give the mother a ride to work. The Franklin County Sheriff's Office wanted to provide the mother with a Christmas surprise. They partnered with the community and Love’s Truck Stop to buy a van.
As an early Christmas gift, the mother was given a van, two car seats, a grocery gift card, $200 in cash, and the first year of car insurance paid in full. The mother was very appreciative of the support. Sheriff Jeff Richards said, “Sgt. Jesse Vega and his patrol team saw a need and worked to fill it. Working with other members of the Sheriff’s Office and community members, they were able to bless someone in a way that words cannot express.”
Sutton is trying to finish out his senior year and is making plans for the future. He was walking for months before Wright took notice. Sutton's story is remarkable for a lot of reasons. One of those reasons is simply that Sutton is a young man who was doing what he needed to do to make an honest living. He no longer must walk 7 miles to work after school. He can just drive there in his new car. This moment would not be possible without compassion.
There is so much darkness in the world. However, Sutton’s story and others like it are proof that kindness still exists.
What did you think about Sutton and Wright's story? Be sure to leave your opinion in the comments section — and tell your friends about this article.