Thursday, October 20, 2016

How coffee and kindness got Kyle Bigler a car

Joanne Griffiths has 10 kids. Ten! I'm amazed she can find time to brush her teeth, never mind think about other people's needs. But that's exactly what she did.

Kyle Bigler was a familiar, friendly face at the New Hampshire Dunkin' Donuts drive-through, and he handed Griffiths her coffee early one morning. On her way to work mid-afternoon, she noticed Bigler walking along the road. Just before 11 that same night, Griffiths saw Bigler a third time, working the graveyard shift at a local gas station. She offered him a ride home, which he declined. She discovered Bigler had been walking to both minimum-wage jobs, a trek of about 16 miles a day.

Yes, this young man walked six hours to these two jobs and had done so for about a year. He felt that his learning disability and speech impediment gave him few work options. "No places close to me would hire me and Dunkin' Donuts in Belmont did, so I took it and said I'd walk to work and work for them every day," he told TODAY.

Griffiths was amazed by Bigler's work ethic. She snapped a photo of him at the drive-through and shared his story on Facebook. It went viral.

Among the comments on Griffiths' post were offers of help for Biglin in terms of money and jobs. Autoserv Tilton, a local car dealership, offered another solution - a car.

“I was touched by Kyle’s work ethic and perseverance even when times were tough,” Ryan Parks, sales manager at AutoServ of Tilton ― which donated the car to Bigler ― told The Huffington Post. “I feel like that’s something we don’t see as much nowadays when I compare my generation to my parents’ or my grandparents’ and it was really refreshing to see that.”

Biglin will have to learn to drive and pass his driver's test, but he is overwhelmed and excited. Not only do these wheels mean he can drive to work, they also give him a way to visit with his 3-year-old son Steven who lives with his mother over 3 hours away. 

"Meeting Kyle has humbled me and made me more grateful for what I have." Griffiths tells PEOPLE. “Everyone struggles in life. All that matters is how you respond to the struggle and persevere.”

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