A student hard at work
Making your way through college is often very hard, especially for students who have no other choice but to support themselves and pay their own way. One such student was Walter Carr of Alabama, who found himself having to work through college.
Initially, he worked at a restaurant, but he quickly discovered that he wasn’t making enough to cover all of his expenses. Tired of working long hours for minimal pay, he quit and looked for something else. Walter was confident he’d find something, and he eventually did – a removal company named Bellhops.
After successfully landing himself a new job that promised to pay more than his old one, Walter had to think logistics. His removals gig was a lot farther away than his old job, so he needed to rely on his car to get him there.
The added pressure relief of extra money coming in meant that at least Walter could focus more of his attention on his studies. However, instead of working long hours at the restaurant, Walter was facing an even longer shift on his first day.
The day before Walter’s first shift with Bellhops, he discovered that his car wasn’t working so well. In fact, it wouldn’t start, which meant he was going nowhere.
Walter’s 2003 Nissan Altima broke down, but thankfully he discovered when running errands, rather than on the morning of his first day. Sadly Walter was unable to afford to put his car in the shop, so he was left with very few alternatives. He didn’t have a ride, but maybe some of his friends or family could come to his aid.
Beginning to worry
Walter asked his friends if they could give him a ride in the morning, but it was going to be an early one. No one was able to drop him off at his new job 20 miles away, not even his girlfriend.
That’s when the panic began to set in for Walter, because he was now facing the possibility of missing his first day at work altogether. People couldn’t help him, so he had to figure out a way to help himself or lose his job before it got started.
Time to make a plan
This wasn’t the time for panicking though, Walter still had a lot of hours between now and when his shift was due to start. Walter was meant to be starting his new job at 7:30am the next day, so he had the entire evening to figure things out.
He knew he couldn’t get a cab because that was going to take away almost half of his salary for the month. Public transport was also out of the question at the time of day he was going to need it.
Checking the GPS
There wasn’t an obvious solution, so Walter decided to check his GPS to see just how long it would take him to walk to his new job. The news wasn’t good, and it was looking like a seven-hour hike from his home in Alabama to the home of his clients.
Was it too far? Walter thought things over and figured he was in great shape, and if he left at the right time he wouldn’t even use that much energy. It was time for an early night.
Setting his alarm
Walter knew that his walk to work the following day was going to be a long one, so he set his alarm for midnight. If he left at 12, he would make it with time to spare for his first day at his new job.
It didn’t seem like a sensible plan, but that was all Walter could do to avoid calling his boss and say he wasn’t coming in. First impressions are lasting, and making a bad one with your new boss isn’t the best start.
Time to leave
It had barely seemed like any time had passed, but Walter set off on his long commute to his new job. Midnight came too quickly, but Walter was off and running. Four hours into the journey he felt as though he was making progress, so he took a little rest at the side of the road.
All of a sudden, some headlights were coming his way, but who could be out at 4am? That’s when Walter realized it was a police officer, and the cop noticed Walter sitting there.
Stopping for food
The officer wanted to know what a young man like Walter was doing walking on the roads so late. Walter explained his situation to the officer, who sympathized with the college student, and offered the man a ride.
The cop took Walter for some food and then gave him a ride as far as he could. The officer told Walter that he would radio for another officer from a different police department to take him the rest of the way.
Time to spare
Walter waited for the other officer to show up, but there was no sign, so he started walking toward his destination. A little while later, another police officer pulled over beside Walter and realized he was the kid he was looking for.
The officer gave Walter a ride the rest of the way, even getting him to the house he was doing the removals for early. Walter knocked on the door to the shock of the homeowners, particularly because he was accompanied by the officer to the door.
One thing that Walter had in his favor was the fact that he was a part of the long-distance running team back in high school. He had always been interested in sports, so he saw the seven-hour trek as a challenge.
Of course it would be difficult, but it wasn’t impossible. Walter had been making such great time before he was picked up by the police that even if they hadn’t stopped for him, he would have made it.
A big commitment
The worst thing for Walter was the possibility of losing this job, so he made a commitment to himself to turn up on his first day. That commitment was what impressed the first police officer he came in contact with, and they hit things off pretty quickly.
Walter was a little nervous about the officer approaching him in the middle of the night. He knew it might have looked a little strange, especially with the bat and knife he had in his backpack.
For self-defense only
There was a good reason for Walter to have this dangerous equipment in his backpack. He wasn’t worried about meeting any people on his long walk to work, but he did think he might come across some stray dogs or wild animals.
His baseball bat and knife weren’t needed, but Walter did come across something wild on his trek. Before the officer picked him up, Walter was being followed by a dog but managed to distract it by throwing a ball at it.
A big breakfast
It was going to be a long road, and that meant Walter needed a big breakfast to fuel his journey. He ate eggs and bologna to give him the protein and energy to sustain him for seven hours.
A 20-mile walk is not easy, and it’s practically a marathon, but that’s what Walter was prepared to do to make his first day a successful one. With nothing but the bare essentials in his backpack, Walter walked for four hours straight before finally being picked up by the police officer.
The officer who picked Walter up was called Mark Knighton, and he was in admiration of the student’s dedication. When Walter explained his situation to Knighton, the officer was only too willing to help. He believed Walter and offered to take him to get some food.
Walter said he didn’t have any money with him, but the officer told him not to worry and paid for the food he ate. Once they ate, the officer dropped Walter off much closer to his destination than he should have been.
Time to think
One problem for Walter was having extra time to think. Knighton dropped Walter off at a church and told him to wait there for another officer to come along and take him the rest of the way.
Walter sat at that church for a while, but as time began to tick he started to worry the other officer wasn’t coming. If he waited any longer he was going to be late, so that’s when Walter decided he should get to walking again.
Walter was fortunate that the officer found him along the road. He was brought to the home of Jenny and Chris Lamey at 6:30am, an hour before he was due. The officer insisted on coming to the door with Walter to explain the situation.
As soon as Jenny answered the door and heard Walter’s story, she told him to take some time and rest up. It had been a long morning, but Walter was keen to get going right away, even though his colleagues wouldn’t show for another hour.
Getting to work
Jenny was stunned at the story the officer told her about Walter. She gave him some water, and then he got right to work getting her stuff ready to put in the removal truck. An hour later, Walter’s colleagues arrived, and he fit right into the team.
Together they worked tirelessly and packed the entire house into the truck in no time at all. The Bellhops staff then got in the truck and unloaded Jenny and Chris’ stuff at their new home.
When Walter began working, Jenny and Chris couldn’t believe how much energy the young man had, especially after the morning he had just been through. Not only did he work tirelessly packing their stuff up, but Walter was a source of fun for the couple’s children too.
He played basketball with them, and this was the beginning of something special between Walter and the Lameys. Soon after meeting Walter, Jenny would make a post to social media that would change the young man’s life.
Recognizing his efforts
When Walter showed up to the Lamey’s home that day, he really touched their hearts. They discovered that he was so happy to have a job that he was willing to go through so much just to help them move home.
The couple wanted to make sure the rest of the world learned all about Walter’s efforts and shared his story through social media. This was just the beginning though, and the Lameys would go the extra mile to make Walter’s life better.
Calling his supervisor
The only way Walter was going to be recognized for the amazing effort he made was if Jenny and Chris let his supervisor know. They called Walter’s superior and told them just how impressed they were with Walter’s character, performance, and determination.
Her family and friends learned about their experience with the Bellhops employee and began sharing it on their social media profiles. Walter was going viral all because he made such a big sacrifice to get to work.
From something small…
Jenny had no idea how much the story she was sharing on social media was going to take off. Her post went viral, and the whole world took an interest in Walter and his long walk to work.
Everyone who heard about his story was happy to help, and Jenny wasn’t finished trying to make a difference in Walter’s life either. She had already tried to do so much for him, but she was going to extra mile to give Walter some more hope in life.
The more that people heard about Walter’s struggle, the more they were willing to help the college student out. Jenny had set up a GoFundMe page, and over a short period of time, the Lameys had managed to raise $44,000 to go toward Walter’s college funds.
He could use that money to get his car back on the road, or even buy a new one if he wanted. That way, he could avoid the seven-hour commute the next time he was due in for work.
Giving Walter help
Considering that he didn’t have enough money to get his car fixed, the $44,000 that had suddenly fallen into his lap was a big change. It would have been easy for Walter to spend it all on frivolous things, but someone came to his aid to make sure that didn’t happen.
A financial advisor heard about Walter and offered their services to the young man for free. That way, Walter could be responsible with the money that came his way and make the right decisions.
Keeping his job
The most important thing to Walter through all of this was to keep his job. That was why he had embarked on such a daunting journey in the first place. Thankfully his trip into the unknown was completely worth it, and his luck changed halfway into the trek.
That wasn’t the only bit of good news for Walter, and his boss sent the compliments from the Lameys all the way to the top. Walter was about to receive a phone call from someone very important.
The big cheese
Not long after his story went viral, Walter received a phone call from the Bellhops CEO, who was impressed with the college student. The CEO wanted Walter to receive some recognition from the company for the effort he made in getting to work.
Walter couldn’t believe he was getting a call from the Bellhops CEO, who claimed that a phone call wasn’t simply enough. The CEO was asking to meet with Walter personally to show his gratitude face to face.
A meeting of a lifetime
While speaking with the CEO of Bellhops, Walter arranged to meet his boss at a cafe a couple of days later. When he went to the meeting Walter must have just been expecting to have a conversation with the CEO, and to maybe enjoy a meal with the head honcho.
That wasn’t the case however, and the CEO had a very special surprise for Walter. He had heard all about Walter’s car troubles, so he wanted to give him something that would mean he kept on coming back to work.
Walking away with some keys
When Walter met with his CEO, he was a bit confused but also excited. This guy was the face of a national corporation, and it was a special opportunity to meet with him. When the two came together, Walter noticed that his CEO had a set of keys in his hand.
Those keys were to the CEO’s very own Ford Escape, and he handed them over to Walter. The CEO wanted Walter to have his car, and he gave it to him completely free of charge.
More than just a walker
Walter was interviewed by a host of media outlets after his story went viral, including established news corporations such as The Washington Post, Fox News, and USA Today. The college student said he doesn’t want to be remembered as the kid who walked to work one day, he’s more than that.
Walter is actually the first person in his family to attend college, and in the future, he hopes he can become an occupational therapist. He’s at community college now but has his sights set on Alabama State University.
Wanting to help people
Walter was able to help himself, and in the future, he says he wants to “help people with health problems.” The desire to help people comes from his time being a supportive friend to his buddies in high school.
Walter says he didn’t get injured in high school, but he knew plenty of people who did, and he could see how devastating it was. That’s why he wants to help athletes who are dealing with the aftermath of their injuries to overcome their hardships, just like Walter did.
Disclaimer: Some photos may be stock images used for illustration purposes only. The people or places in these photos are not to be associated with the article.