When Walter Carr’s car broke down the night before his first day of work, he was left with one mode of transportation: walking. The first home he’d be working in as part of Bellhops moving company was about 20 miles from his house, which meant he’d have to wake up before dawn, after just four hours of sleep, and make the lengthy trek before spending the rest of the day lifting heavy boxes before heading home. When the company’s CEO heard Carr’s story, he knew this employee deserved a special bonus.
NEW RIDE: Walter Carr, a new employee at an Alabama moving company, walked 20 miles for his first day on the job after his car broke down — an act that inspired the CEO of the company to give the young man a new car. @DavidMuir reports. #AmericaStrong https://t.co/uw6gGcC1ce pic.twitter.com/DAqpeD41Xu
— World News Tonight (@ABCWorldNews) July 18, 2018
About halfway through his 20-mile hike, Carr stopped to rest his aching legs, at which point he was approached by Officer Mark Knighten of the Pelham Police Department. After hearing how much longer Carr still had to walk, Knighten was joined by Officers Carl Perkinson and Klint Rhodes, and all three took the young man to breakfast.
Servant leadership means using the resources you have at hand to uplift those around you. That's exactly what Bellhops CEO Luke Marklin did to support Walter Carr in his time of need.
This is leadership in action. https://t.co/v8acWY1LpE
— Randall Woodfin (@WoodfinForBham) July 17, 2018
Carr told the officers he would do anything to make sure he wasn’t late to his first day of work:
I didn’t want to defeat myself.
When Walter Carr's vehicle broke down before his first day on the job, he could have called out. Instead, he chose to walk over a dozen miles to get there on time and gained the attention of his company's CEO, who made sure he would always have a ride: https://t.co/Rw3DAyjNFs pic.twitter.com/nFQwdLy8dF
— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 17, 2018
At 6:30am, after breakfast, another officer dropped Carr off at the home of Jenny Lamey, who he’d be helping to move with the Bellhops crew. The officer told her about Carr’s planned walk and asked if he could wait at the house for the rest of his team.
Lamey was immediately touched:
My heart just stopped.
This is the best of America! Not the utter nonsense we’ve been experiencing!
— H2Owench (@H2Owench) July 17, 2018
Lamey offered Walter food and a place to get some rest, but he insisted they begin working. Carr’s work ethic, even after a long hike in the intense heat, inspired Lamey to “burst into tears a couple times.” She also found out Carr and his mother lost their home in Hurricane Katrina, and that he would be receiving an associates degree later in the year before training with the marines.
This young man is an inspiration to us all. God bless him and his wonderful boss who recognized all that God made him to be. Wonderful story #walkinlove
— Melissa Wittke (@MelissaWittke) July 18, 2018
When the rest of the crew arrived at 8am, they were shocked to learn about Carr’s plan to walk the entire way. Lamey was so moved by Walter’s story that she created a GoFundMe to help repair his car, and made sure it was seen by Bellhops CEO, Luke Marklin. She hoped Marklin would make a donation to the effort, but the CEO had bigger plans.
What would Walter do?
Walter Carr was 20 miles and a few hours away from his first day at his new job as a mover. The last thing he needed was car trouble. Well, that’s just what he had. What he didn’t have was a ride to work or time. And before he knew it, it was midnight… pic.twitter.com/ntKIGodFyG
— #WVTM13 (@WVTM13) July 17, 2018
Marklin drove down to Alabama from Tennessee to meet Carr for a lunch. Carr didn’t know his co-workers, the officers who ate breakfast with him, and the Lamey family were waiting nearby. The group surprised him at a nearby hotel.
Marklin praised Carr’s character:
Walter is incredible, and what he did is incredible. It’s everything our company stands for.
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
Saying Walter “truly raised the bar,” Marklin then gave Walter the keys to the Ford Escape he had driven to Alabama, ensuring he won’t ever have to wonder how he’s getting to work again.
Lamey spoke of how Carr was able to touch so many lives over the course of a single morning:
He’s like the poster boy for no excuses. He’s just got this deep faith, he wasn’t alone.
Everything about this story is wonderful: the work ethic of Walter Carr, the actions of the police, the owners of the company, the people moving, etc. Just a wonderful, wonderful story. We need more of this. Thanks @PelhamPoliceAL and @BellhopsMoving. https://t.co/j8ljFnWAD7
— Chris W. Surprenant (@CWSurprenant) July 17, 2018
Congratulations on the new car, Walter! It’s much deserved.