Every morning, Samuel James, a custodian at Citronelle High School in Alabama, has to hit the road early to make it to his job on time.
Ever since his car’s engine blew, he has been making the journey to and from school by foot. But when a recent injury left him stranded at home, it took an incredible coincidence and an act of generosity to get him back on his feet.
One afternoon, English teacher Deborah Pippin was chatting with her husband, Jeff Pippin, and the school’s principal, Randy Campbell, as they ate lunch in the cafeteria.
Deborah told Randy that they had just replaced their 10-year-old Toyota Highlander, the car they’d purchased before the birth of their oldest child, and were looking to give it away to someone who needed it.
“Mr. Campbell immediately told us about how Sam’s engine had blown and that he was looking for another vehicle,” Deborah wrote on Facebook. “Then, he told us that Sam had been walking to work every day. Jeff and I didn’t even have to discuss it further. We knew Sam was the man for the Highlander.”
Samuel has worked for the school for 13 years, so the Pippins know him well. They immediately set the wheels in motion to get the car title transferred over to Sam. They felt strongly that he was the perfect new owner for their car, which has sentimental value to them because they brought both of their babies home from the hospital in it.
“I just can’t think of somebody better to be able to give it to, and it’s going to be very special to see him have it,” Deborah said.
On the day they surprised Sam with his new ride, Randy, the Pippins, and a few others gathered outside the school to hand him the keys. Sam was so overjoyed and grateful for the gift!
“We at Citronelle High wanted to help him out and get him back on his feet,” Randy said. “Thank you, Sam, for all your years of service and for keeping our athletic facilities and our grounds in great shape!”
Sam was deeply touched by their unprompted act of kindness.
“I’ve known this family for a good eight, nine years that I’ve been here. And they’ve always been good to me,” he said. “And I’m just thankful that the Lord sent them my way and let me get this right here. And I’m blessed to have this, and blessed to have them as real good friends, the Pippins.”
“When something like this comes together the way it did, you can see God’s hand in it,” Deborah wrote. We couldn’t agree more! Sometimes the right path forward is so clear that we just have to go along for the ride.
Watch Sam receive his life-changing gift in the video below, and don’t forget to share this story.
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