A Utah couple raised money to buy a high school custodian a car after they spotted him walking home after a long day’s work.
Darilyn and Sean Merrill were driving home one day when they noticed a man walking down an intersection with a lunch box, KUTV reported. The man looked exhausted, so they offered the stranger a ride.
“He looked like he'd had a rough day,” Sean told KUTV.
Robert Ford, who is a custodian at a Salt Lake City high school, said he was hesitant at first, but decided to hop in the vehicle because the couple seemed nice and polite.
Ford told the Millers his car broke down a year ago. He had missed his final bus ride to work that day and his commute was two hours long. He said it left him with time to only work and sleep.
Ford’s story touched the Merrills, who said they remember struggling financially a year ago.
“We were thinking we are blessed,” Darilyn said. “We have so much.”
The couple decided to do something to help Ford. They started a GoFundMe account, explaining Ford’s situation. They raised more than $2,000 and bought Ford a car.
Sean, who is a mechanic, purchased the vehicle at an auction and fixed the brakes, oil leaks and other issues. The couple then visited Ford at his home to surprise him with the gift.
“I thought they were full of it,” Ford said. “I didn't think it was real. I’m a total stranger and they did this for me. It blows my mind.”
Ford said it was the kindest gift he’s ever gotten in his life. He was grateful to the couple and all those who donated.
“If it wasn't for them, I'd be still riding the bus,” Ford said. “I owe them a lot, and I'm going to do my best … to help somebody else.”
“I think it’s important to take a step back and think about others and think about that they are a person just like you,” Sean added. “They go through the same struggles, maybe different experiences, but everyone needs help now and again.”