CLOSE

FedEx employee, Darlene Quinn was moved to tears when her coworkers in South Carolina told her they'd been raising money in secret to buy her a car. Humankind, USA TODAY

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

GREENVILLE, S.C. – Darlene Quinn, 60, has been walking 12 miles home from work since her car broke down three months ago.  Now, thanks to thoughtful co-workers and dozens of strangers, she won't have to. 

Josh Lewis works with Quinn at FedEx. A few months ago, Lewis said he and his boss started seeing Quinn walking along busy roads.

Lewis said Quinn had someone who would take her to work, but she had to walk back home.

About a month ago, Lewis and his boss began offering Quinn rides.

"We told her who we were and that we also worked at FedEx," Lewis said, "She must've felt safe enough to get in the car with us."

Lewis said it was on those rides that he and his boss began to learn more about Quinn's situation.

He said her car broke down three months ago and she couldn't afford to fix it, so she began walking. 

Less than 2 weeks after hospitalization: Jimmy Carter is back teaching Sunday school

A couple of weeks ago, Lewis went to his boss and suggested they start a GoFundMe campaign to help Quinn get back in a car. The fundraising page was posted Oct. 22. Within a week, about 100 people had raised enough to buy Quinn a car. 

On Tuesday,  Lewis said, organizers worked with a local dealership to buy Quinn a car, then surprised her with it at work. 

In a video taken during the reveal, Quinn is visibly emotional.

“It was amazing," Lewis said. "She just started bawling crying and saying how she can’t believe that this is happening to her.”

Lewis said two locally owned businesses also reached out wanting to help Quinn. One of them is offering free oil changes, and the other is offering tire service as needed. Lewis said the businesses wished to remain anonymous. 

Quinn didn't want to speak about her story, but she gave Lewis permission to speak on her behalf.

A century in the making: Boat trapped for 101 years near edge of Niagara Falls moves after Halloween night storm

Lewis said Quinn told him she just wished she could personally thank everyone who contributed. She even gave Lewis a card to share with donors. 

“I told her she’s just an inspiration," Lewis said. "I know I don’t think I would walk 12 miles just to go to work or to come home from work on a daily basis.”

Follow Elizabeth LaFleur on Twitter: @eslafleur

Autoplay
Show Thumbnails
Show Captions
LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/11/04/gofundme-fedex-worker-darlene-quinn-12-mile-walk/4154337002/