A South Carolina woman’s 24-mile daily walk to and from work came to an abrupt halt recently, when a group of friends and strangers secretly collected enough money to buy her a car, according to a Facebook post by one of her of neighbors.
Video of the moment 60-year-old Darlene Quinn learned of the gift was posted on Facebook by her FedEx co-worker Josh Lewis, and it shows she held onto a chair and broke down in tears.
“You have inspired so many of us to do great things,” Lewis says in the video. “So me and about 100 other people got together and we raised enough money to buy that car for cash for you today.”
Quinn says little in the 40-second clip, other than warning Lewis she’s going to cry. She reacted to the gift days later with a card posted on Facebook that says the donors’ kindness “will always be remembered with more gratitude than you could ever know.”
Lewis says he began a GoFundMe page on Oct. 22 without Quinn’s knowledge, in hopes of surprising “this sweet, humble, and hard working member of our community.”
The $6,205 used to buy the car was provided by 105 donors, some of whom gave as much as $200, according to the GoFundMe page.
People in the Greer area have become familiar with the sight of Quinn walking daily to the FedEx office, via Wade Hampton Boulevard and S.C. 14, according to the GoFundMe page. She has worked there almost 7 years, on a shift starting around 4 a.m.
“Unfortunately, 3 months ago, Ms. Darlene’s only car broke down. The transmission went out and the radiator broke. For the last 3 months Darlene has been having to walk to and from work in order to support herself. When I say walk to and from work, I’m talking 12 miles just one way,” Lewis wrote on the campaign page.
“She walks in the rain, in the cold, in whatever weather condition she has to in order to get to work and support herself,” he wrote.
Co-workers became aware of her lack of transportation after noticing her walking along the highway after work each day, he said. Some began picking her up along the highway, and word soon spread of her plight, which is now over.