The TLC Community Center in Elizabethton, Tennessee, has done so much for its community. A non-profit food delivery service focusing on families in the rural community, it is dedicated to feeding the hungry as well as giving out baby-related items to those who really need them.
Its volunteers are the heart and soul of the operation, and in February they proved that they not only look out for their recipients but for their own, too.
The woman filming the video, Angie Odom, is the director of the non-profit, and the one who got to unveil a big surprise for the young man.
Jared, a high school graduate, had regularly taken meals to families for years — but he only had his trusty bicycle. He rode it to work and to volunteer, rain or shine, balancing whatever he was carrying as he rode.
While his dedication was admirable, obviously his form of transportation wasn’t ideal. The small town doesn’t have public transportation, and what’s more, the closest college was a 45-minute drive away, so Jared couldn’t attend after high school and was effectively stuck in town until something changed.
One of the members of a local church had just the change Jared so desperately needed. The man’s mother, in her 90s, passed away. One of the things she left behind was a car, and the man wanted to donate it.
“The car was once owned by a woman in her 90s that passed away and her son donated for us to place it with someone in need yet deserving,” Odom said, according to WJHL-TV.
Odom could think of no one more promising and deserving than Jared, so she invited him and his mother to lunch and then gave them the news.
The video, showing the young man crying and repeatedly saying “thank you,” was posted on the center’s Facebook page.
“A young man has volunteered for years helping others riding his bike regardless of the weather,” the caption read. “He couldn’t continue school because after graduation the school bus doesn’t take you to college.”
“He has held down a job riding his bike and in this weather that says a lot. He never complains and always smiles willing to help. God provides just what we knew he needed. God honors and blesses hard work!”
The car was gifted on a Tuesday, and by Friday another gift was made to the young man.
“Update one of the TLC Supporters [came] in and paid Jared’s insurance up for one year!!” an update on the caption read. “God has supplied his needs!!”
Others commenting on the post asked if they could donate gas gift cards as well.
As some commenters have pointed out, this car wasn’t just a way to stay out of the elements in inclement weather, it was a key to a bright new future, an opportunity at a new life.
“I believe in you, Jared,” Odom can be heard saying in the video. “And I know that God’s made a way to help you right now.”
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