GREENVILLE, S.C. – Darlene Quinn, 60, has been walking 12 miles home from work since her car broke down three months ago. Now, she won't have to say thanks to thoughtful co-workers and dozens of strangers.
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'd 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.
A couple of weeks ago, Lewis went to his boss and suggested they start a GoFundMe 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 they 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 of the moment. "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 they wished to remain anonymous.
Quinn didn't want to speak about her story, but she gave Lewis permission to speak on her behalf.
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
This article originally appeared on The Greenville News: After seeing a FedEx worker walk 12 miles home for months, co-workers rally to buy her a car