Ninikitty reports for NewsBreak that in the early morning hours on a Saturday in August, 2022, Officer Mark Knighten of Pelham Police Department, Alabama, saw a young black man sitting by the side of the road.
Knighten stopped to find out why.
The young man, Walter Carr, said that this was his first day of work at the Bellhops moving company in a location nearly 20 miles from his house, but his car had broken down the night before. This left him with only one option to get there: Walk.
So Carr left his house in Homewood at midnight, after sleeping for four hours, and began the trek to the home of the family he was going to help move.
Along the way, Carr sat down because his legs were hurting. That was when he was stopped by Officer Knighten. He told the officer that he had eight to 10 miles left to go in the journey and was determined to make it to his first day of work: “I didn’t want to defeat myself.”
Officers Carl Perkinson and Klint Rhodes pulled up shortly after. All three officers took the young man to breakfast.
At 6:30 a.m. Saturday morning, another officer, Scott Duffey, brought Carr to the home of Jenny Lamey, where Carr would help her family move.
Duffey told Lamey about Carr’s trek.
“My heart just stopped,” Lamey told ABC News. She said she offered Walter food and a couch to lie down on until 8:00 a.m. until the rest of the Bellhops crew arrived, but he insisted they get to work.
Lamey said she thought about his all-night walk and how he now would lift heavy boxes in the excruciating heat and it blew her away. “I burst into tears a couple times,” she said.
Lamey said she learned more that impressed her about Carr. He said he was supposed to be receiving his Associate’s degree later this year, and then he would be shipped off to boot camp with the Marines. When he was 5 years old, he and his mother lost their home in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.
Lamey found a way to get in contact with Bellhops CEO, Luke Marklin. She shared the story on Facebook and set up a GoFundMe to raise money for Walter to fix his car.
But CEO Marklin had something else in mind. “Walter is incredible, and what he did is incredible,” Marklin told ABC News. “It’s everything our company stands for.”
Marklin drove from his home in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to Homewood, Alabama, to meet Carr for lunch in a hotel. Carr walked 30 minutes to meet Marklin.
When he arrived, the entire group — Marklin, Lamey and the police officers — were there and Marklin gave him the keys to the Ford Escape SUV he drove to Alabama. “Walter truly raised the bar,” Marklin said.
Lamey said her family will be inspired by him whenever they have tough times. “He’s like the poster boy for no excuses,” she said. “He’s just got this deep faith, he wasn’t alone.”
Walter Carr said he was so happy that he had touched people with his story and that he was blessed to bless others.