We've all seen the amazing story shared by Jenny about one of our bellhops, Walter Carr, but many have asked if we have any video from the moment CEO @LukeMarklin thanked Walter for the perseverance he demonstrated on his first day w/ @BellhopsMoving #TheWorldNeedsMoreWalters pic.twitter.com/mXrvI2JQoP— Bellhops (@BellhopsMoving) July 17, 2018
A motivated college student walked 20 miles so he wouldn’t miss his first day of work at Bellhops moving company, and his new boss knew just how to reward him for his hard work.
Walter Carr had finally found a company willing to hire him.
“I wanted to show them I got the dedication. I said I'm going to get to this job one way or another,” he said.
So when his car broke down the day before his first day, he did not get discouraged. Instead, he walked.
He had to make it to Pelham from Homewood, Alabama, a 20-mile trip, by early in the morning on Monday. So he just started to walk. All night long.
By 4 a.m., he had made it to Pelham, where a Pelham police officer noticed Carr walking on the side of the road.
Officer Mark Knighten asked Carr if everything was OK, to which the young man replied by explaining his car had broken down and that he was walking from home to work.
"He was very polite. It was 'yes sir' and 'no sir,''' Knighten said.
Knighten along with officers Klint Rhodes and Carl Perkinson then decided to take Carr to a nearby Whataburger where they got him breakfast and lunch to go. Then they dropped Carr off at a church, since it was too early for him to get to work.
Officer Scott Duffey, who had just started his shift, heard about Carr’s story. He then found Carr and drove him to his first job assignment in Chelsea, where he would be helping Jenny Lamey and husband, Chris, with their move.
At 6:30 a.m., Carr showed up with the officers, who explained what had happened.
"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) and he was 'training' today," she posted on Facebook.
"He WALKED ALL NIGHT to get from Homewood to Pelham,” she added.
Since the rest of the Bellhop crew hadn’t arrived yet, Lamey told Carr to go upstairs and take a nap until they were all there. But the young man was ready to work, so he politely declined and said he was going to start packing.
"We chatted while we were working together early yesterday morning. He loved my kitchen and said that it was exactly the kind of kitchen he would want. He was from New Orleans. He and his mother lost their home in Hurricane Katrina and they came and made their home in Birmingham,'' she wrote. "I asked him if he was tired from all that walking, and he said replied that he wasn't and that he had a 4-hour nap before he left at midnight.”
Lamey said she felt an instant connection with the young man.
"He looked at me in the eye and smiled and I felt like I had known him much longer," he said.
After his story was widely shared locally, Bellhops CEO Luke Marklin drove in from Tennessee to have a coffee with Carr to tell him how grateful he was that he was part of his company’s family. Then, once he met the young man, he handed him over the keys to his barely-driven 2014 Ford Escape.
"I am honestly blown away by him,'' Marklin said. "Everything he did that day is exactly who we are — heart and grit. So far, he's batting 1,000."
"I want people to know this — no matter what the challenge is, you can break through the challenge. Nothing is impossible unless you make it impossible,'' Carr later said. "You can do anything you set your mind to. I've got God by my side. I'm really emotional right now trying to hold back the tears."
Carr is planning on graduating from Lawson State University in December with an associate’s degree in health sciences. Then, he wants to join the U.S. Marines before going back to Birmingham where he hopes to achieve a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy.
"I just can't tell you how touched I was by Walter and his journey,” Lamey wrote in her Facebook post. “He is humble and kind and cheerful and he had big dreams!”
In addition to her post, Lamey also set up a GoFundMe page for Carr.
AMAZING ?? Walter Carr was willing to walk all night to be on time for his first day of work and now his story has gone viral, prompting an outpouring of community support and a generous move by his employer's CEO https://t.co/iVUZscl4JS pic.twitter.com/1KdMAwXkCb— KRON4 News (@kron4news) July 17, 2018
After receiving the car from his new boss, Carr explained that everything he did was because his parents raised him to be helpful. And his new car will make it even easier for him to help people.
"God blessed me to be a blessing,'' he said. "Whatever challenges God puts in front of me I know it’s for a reason."
Lamey agreed, saying Carr was special.
"You've changed all of our lives Walter. You have no idea how many lives you've changed and inspired. You're a very special young man and you're going to do great things. You already are," she said.
Without a doubt, Carr had no idea that his decision to walk to work would have changed his life so completely. And it’s precisely because of his humility and dedication that so many were touched.
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