The EXACT Car, sound system angels, cancer battles, and a deserving young man
Scroll below to read the whole story on how this all came to be…
Here is the full story! I received a call from the Kelly family about 3 weeks ago; it was a Sunday. They told me they had a car they wanted to donate to No Longer Fatherless. Immediately I thought of Noah, who has been in our mentoring program for more than a year.
The next day I called his mother to ask about his driver's license and their plan for getting him a car. After asking some questions I said, don't get your hopes up but if this works out we may be able to give Noah a car, it's a gold 2003 Chevy Impala, less than 100,000 miles, nice condition, etc.
She said she almost fell down. Her email inbox was FULL of 2003 Chevy Impala's that Noah had been sending her from used car websites. It's the exact car he wanted!
She also shared that it had been a rough week for Noah since they just found out his grandfather was diagnosed with cancer. Noah's best friend is his grandpa. Whenever mom is working long hours, Noah can always be found at his grandpa's house. He has always been there for Noah and has been a rock for the entire family.
So I got the car from the Kelly family, picked it up in Daytona Beach and drove it back home. About a 1/2 mile from home I see a motorcycle cop behind me. Uh oh. There is no license plate. License and registration please! Reach in my wallet - no license. The officer said I could have been arrested for all the violations but he let me off easy (I guess) and let me take it home after sharing the reason why I had the vehicle.
We detailed the car inside and out, changed the wipers, and changed the oil. I reached out to many businesses in the area hoping we would receive donations for the car to make it even more special for Noah. Another mentor of ours, Jeff, said he had an old sub-woofer and amp he would love to donate and install.
He picked me up the next Saturday and we hit the town to find a radio and wiring kit. Best Buy told us we needed a $135 special wiring kit since it was a Chevy. Jeff said....I don't think so...and we left.
Next, we went to soundcrafters, the car stereo experts. Closed. We searched YouTube to see if we could figure out what we needed but did not find any answers. We decided to give WalMart a shot.
We get to WalMart and the car stereo section is less than half of one aisle. This is not looking promising. Then we noticed a guy weaving around us looking at the same section. I made a joke and we started small talk with the stranger. Come to find out, on a random Saturday afternoon at WalMart, we run into a sound system expert. He previously installed a sound system on the EXACT SAME CAR. EVEN THE SAME COLOR! He Showed the exact parts we needed (Only $30) and even showed us where all of the connectors and parts go. AMAZING.
Sound system is installed, we get the tag and insurance figured out, then I get a call from Discount Tire in Palm Coast. The manager said he will gladly donate 4 brand new tires for Noah's car. I wasn't sure how it turned out to be the Palm Coast store. I contacted Discount Tire Corporate and one day had a voicemail from this store. So I scheduled an appointment to get the tires.
I met the store manager, David, who graciously donated the tires. He said this story hit home for him. He grew up without a father, he was adopted at age 16 by a man who stepped up to be his father. I told David about a boy on our waiting list in the Palm Coast area and he agreed to be his mentor on the spot. AMAZING.
I left Discount Tire with 4 brand new Michelin's that have a warranty, free balance, and free rotation for the life of the tires. The car was ready for Noah! Now how to surprise him with it...hmmm.
We came up with a plan to meet at Noah's family's home to pray for his grandpa. Myself (Skip), my wife (Raquel), my son (Colt), and Noah's mentor (Justin) headed to their house (With Noah's car). We went inside to meet many aunts, uncles, cousins, and an angry little dog (their words not mine).
We stood in a circle holding hands in the living room with the entire family as people took turns praying for Grandpa Tony and strength for the entire family. After Amen's and the tears were rolling, we waited a few minutes to turn those sad tears into happy tears. What happened next is all captured on the video!
Noah is such a tremendous young man. He goes to school, plays multiple sports, volunteers at Thrive Church, works at Publix, and would do anything for his family. He had been driving his grandfather's car for the past few weeks and would fill the gas tank up each time he drove it. He even offered to pay 1/2 of the car payment since they had been sharing.
I wish I had one hundred cars to give away but I know for the first time in No Longer Fatherless' history of donating a car to a family, it was perfect.