Alabama resident Walter Carr, 20 years old at the time, walked 20 miles during the night in the summer of 2018 when his car broke down on the way to his first day with Bellhops, a moving company. The CEO of Bellhops learned about him and surprised him with a new car.
Some people would welcome an excuse not to work — but not Walter Carr. When the college student got a job as a mover, he made sure that he got to work on time on his first day, even if he had to walk all the way there.
When Walter got a job at Bellhops, a furniture moving company, he saw the opportunity to show just how dedicated he is to his work. When his car broke down, instead of calling in sick or saying he wouldn’t be able to make it, Walter got dressed eight hours before his shift was set to start — and he started walking. He walked over 20 miles to get to his first day of work on time.
Walter had reached Pelham, the town where he was supposed to meet at a house to begin his first day on the job before a police officer stopped him on the side of the road and asked him what he was doing on the side of the highway at such a late hour.
According to Fox News, he told the Pelham officer, “It’s going to sound really crazy but I’m actually going to work.” The officer was astonished and humbled, so he took him to breakfast and then drove him to the house where he was supposed to begin his first day at work.
Jenny Lamey and her husband woke up early to get everything ready to move from their house that day when they heard a knock at the door. “It was a police officer. He proceeded to tell us that he had picked up ‘this nice kid’ in Pelham early this morning. ‘The nice kid,’ Walter, said that he was supposed to help us with our move today. It was his first day on the job with this moving company Bellhops,” Jenny wrote in a Facebook post.
Jenny found out that Walter had walked all night to show up at her house for his first day of work, and she was in awe. She turned to her husband and said,
“You wouldn’t believe what he did to get here. Tell him Walter.”
“‘I walked’. That was it. Humble. I asked him to share a little more and when he did, the crew was in awe of him too! I don’t know that Walter would have shared if I hadn’t asked him to.”
Walter’s story and dedication inspired Jenny, so she took to Facebook to write a post about the whole experience, which quickly went viral.
Since going viral, the CEO of Bellhops, Luke Marklin, saw Jenny’s post and was incredibly humbled. He wrote in a Twitter post:
“This is an incredible story. The grit and heart Walter showed defines Bellhops’ culture precisely. I’m really proud to be on the same team as Walter… we set a high bar on service and he just raised it. Look forward to thanking him in person this week.” And Luke did thank him, he thanked him by giving Walter something so he never has to walk to work again… his own car.
Walter broke down into tears and kept saying, “Oh my god, thank you so much.” After getting in the car and realizing Luke’s gift, Walter said to everyone standing around:
“Thank you all so much, I didn’t think my story would get to this point I just wanted to get to my job and show people that I’m dedicated to the job, I didn’t think everybody would go out of their way to really share my story, I didn’t think my story would go that far at all.” He also especially thanked Jenny for writing and her post and sharing Walter’s experience.
Walter and CEO Luke Marklin appeared on Fox News to talk about the whole experience.
Marklin said hearing Walter’s story again still, “blows me away, I couldn’t really believe the dedication that Walter showed.” Walter, in the same way, found it unbelievable that Marklin gave him his car, “I’m truly grateful and honored.” he said.
Since gaining recognition, Carr has worked with the Birmingham Education Foundation and, in August 2018, gifted them $25,000, taken from around $91,000 worth of GoFundMe donations he has received, according to the Homewood Star.
The Homewood Star further reports that Carr said the foundation helped him when he was younger, and he wants other people to have that same opportunity. “I would like to give back to my community to help out,” Carr said. “… I wanted to make a difference from that end and show them that I’m still here. … I’m not going to forget where I came from.”
Carr wants to teach young people to never give up and that they are only defeated if they allow themselves to feel that way. “The world’s going to be hard,” added Carr. “It’s like a piece of gum: it chews us and spits us out five seconds later, so you always have to be ready, stay on your toes. Never give up.”
In May 2019, Carr presented the first-ever Walter Carr Award, an award given by Birmingham Education Foundation to Birmingham City Schools, to senior Darion Hall, which included a $2,500 scholarship.
The executive director of the foundation, J.W. Carpenter, describes Carr as “the gift that keeps on giving.”
“Walter Carr is the gift that keeps on giving, not only in the inspiration he provides to millions of people, but now formally with the launch of the Walter Carr Award to ensure that we honor a Birmingham City School student who exhibits great character every single year in Walter’s name,” Carpenter said, according to the Homewood Star. “We are proud at Ed to be a small part of his amazing story, and look forward to continuing that partnership for years to come.”
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