Madison worked hard at a steakhouse to provide for her two kids, but she had to walk three hours each day to get there as the buses didn’t run near her home. However, she never expected this to happen. “I still can’t believe he walked so much each day. At least you’re gonna be in total shape,” Madison’s co-worker Alex said during their break. They were outside the steakhouse where they worked, getting a little rest before the lunch rush.
“Yeah, but I need a car. My knee’s starting to kill me. I don’t know if I can do it much longer,” she replied, sighing heavily. “I’m saving up, but when you’re a single mom, your kids have to be a priority at all times. Extra expenses really come up when you least expect it,” that’s true,” Alex agreed, nodding.
They continued talking for a few more minutes until it was time to go back inside. Madison worked the grill at the restaurant, one of the most important spots in a steakhouse. She covered the morning and lunch shifts, and someone else worked the dinner shift because she had to walk home and get their kids.
Luckily, she had a neighbor who volunteered to get them where the school bus dropped them. It was the only public transportation that reached their neighborhood in West Virginia and watched them until Madison got home. She was thankful to her for that; otherwise, she couldn’t keep this job which paid pretty well. Hopefully, she would soon be able to buy a car, and the days of walking three hours, one and a half to work and one and a half back home each day, would be a distant memory.
Madison woke up bright and early, urging her kids to get dressed quickly so they could walk with her to the area where the school bus stopped. It wasn’t a regular bus stop, but the district had assigned it as many kids in their neighborhood didn’t have any other way to get to school. She usually left the kids there and would continue walking a long distance to the restaurant.
That day, however, as they walked out the door, her kids yelled, “Oh my God Mom, what? It’s too early for yelling, guys,” she shushed them, following the direction of their eyes. There was a car sitting on their usually empty driveway.
“Mom, did you buy a car?” one of her kids, Luke, asked. “No honey, one of the neighbors must have parked here accidentally or they might have guessed,” Madison answered, looking around to see who could have left their car in her driveway.
But a flash caught her eye. It was a set of keys sitting by her window, and there was a tiny note attached to it. She grabbed it and read, “For Madison, so you never have to walk so much again.” Madison was frozen in shock. Luke grabbed the note and read it, “It’s your car, Mom, we have a car, yay!” he cheered, looking at his little brother and jumping up and down.
“Is this real?” she asked herself quietly as the kids rounded the vehicle and looked inside. Madison grabbed the keys and opened the car door. Her children got in excitedly, and she turned the engine on. She was still flabbergasted, but she needed to get to work. She drove her kids directly to the school, and the smiles on their faces were priceless.
Then she went to work and parked her car with the other employees usually did. She was rocking the keys in her hands as she went inside, wondering who her generous gift giver was. But the answer was suddenly right there. She saw the entire staff, even those who didn’t have shifts till later, clapping for her. Tears gathered in her eyes as she realized how silly she was not to have guessed immediately who gave her such a generous gift.
Only a few people in the world know she had walked so much and worked so hard. She hugged and thanked each one of them for their incredible gesture, asking how they afforded it. To her shock, some of them, including Alex, had entered a barbecue contest the past weekend and used their winnings to buy the car for her. “But why? You could have used that money for something else. You don’t even know me that well,” Madison told him, wiping the tears from her eyes.
“We know how hard you work. You’ve been here a year already, and sometimes doing something good for someone in need is much better than spending money on yourself,” Alex said. Her other co-workers nodded and praised Madison for being a hard worker and caring for her kids so wonderfully.
Next to the births of her children, this was the best day of Madison’s life, and she knew that she would never be able to repay the kindness her co-workers extended to her. But she would try, even just by continuing to work hard.