When we were in California we took the kids on a tour of my hometown, Whittier, and all the places I lived and went to school. We talked about me walking to school, how we didn’t have a car when I was young, taking the bus, walking to get groceries and the junior theater I was involved with. Driving by old houses and hang out spots made the memories flood in. Especially when we drove by this house, the first house I ever remember living in. That was my house. Two bedrooms. All three girls shared a room. Concrete yard and in an alley. It was smaller than I remembered it and the avocado tree was still there.
We talked a lot about growing up what many would consider poor and how very blessed they are to live the lives they have. They just could not get past me walking to school as far as I did and riding my bike across town. We didn’t have a car so we did a lot of stuff where we could walk to it.
That very same day I got a message about a group of people wanting to help buy a lady in need a car. I knew it was a big undertaking but I was up for the challenge, because I knew what it was like to not have a car. The woman had no idea about it. Someone saw a need and wanted to fill it. They contacted me, I rallied my tribe and we purchased a car. I helped raise a large amount of the money raised from bed in California on vacation.
The night of the surprise we were all so excited. It isn’t very often you get to surprise someone with a car (even a used one) . We met at her apartment and ambushed her with the surprise. There were tears of joy, hugs and laughter. The moment was perfect and you could feel the love and joy. All of it was worth my $25 and the time I spent getting donations.
Then the unbelievable happened…the car caught on fire! Here is my Facebook post from that night.
I know it sounds unbelievable right? It was one of those moments that didn’t seem real. But in the days that followed the act of kindness that went up in smoke turned from ashes to beauty. God used that moment for so much more. It United more people, inspired more giving, encourgaged more people and brought people together. The car was replaced , money was raised, people were inspired to give more and help others. It all started with an invitation, a leap of faith, $25 and emails from 3000 miles away. I had no idea the journey it would take me on but God has the ability to turn ashes into beauty and I promise you #thestoryisntoveryet