Santa doesn’t usually bring new cars for Christmas – probably because they don’t fit in the sleigh.
But that’s just what one Alabama teen got this year thanks to the generosity of a stranger.
Ian Vinziant, a senior at Gardendale High School just outside of Birmingham, Alabama, walks 1.5 miles to school every day. And then when he leaves school, he also walks 2 miles to his full-time job at Buffalo Wild Wings.
At a time when you hear so many employers talk about how they have a hard time finding employees who will actually show up, Ian not only shows up every day on time but he has to walk for miles to get there. (It’s too bad not everybody has his work ethic).
And that work ethic didn’t go unnoticed by his coworkers. In fact, they appreciated Ian’s hard work so much that they started a GoFundMe to buy him a car for Christmas.
According to WBRC, Hannah Graham and Rileigh George, two of Ian’s co-workers at Buffalo Wild Wings came up with the idea and set out to raise enough money to gift Ian with a car so that he wouldn’t have to spend so much time walking to school and work.
Unfortunately the GoFundMe only raised $700. But it also got the attention of Lisa Easterwood.
Easterwood had been given a new car by her husband this summer, so her old car wasn’t getting much use. And when she read about Ian’s story, she knew that she wanted to donate the car to him:
“I saw a Facebook post about a young man needing a car and I just knew – I just felt in my heart that’s where it’s supposed to be.”
So Easterwood and all of Ian’s coworkers surprised him with his new ride at work one day – and needless to say, he was shocked and touched by the gesture:
“This lady here who I’ve never met, never seen, never even talked to – just donate this to me, makes – it makes me really happy. It really does. This is probably the best Christmas present I’ve ever gotten.”
But that wasn’t the only gift that Easterwood and Ian’s coworkers were able to give him. According to Graham, Easterwood wouldn’t accept any of the money that had been raised by the GoFundMe – so the money is going to go to Ian to pay for his registration, gas, and whatever else he and his family needs around the holidays.
Since the story first aired, another $350 has been donated, meaning Ian will be getting at least $1,000 to go along with his new car.
Just proof that hard work does pay off – and you never know who’s noticing the effort you’re putting in.
The co-workers and friends of Ian Vinziant gathered at the Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant where Vinziant works for a Secret Santa event. https://t.co/PEXuIz6imB