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A restaurant employee who thought he was just getting a ride to work has ended up with a ride of his own thanks to the generosity of strangers.
Justin Korva, 20, was walking to his job at Taco Casa in Rockwall, Texas, on a 95-degree day recently when local man Andy Mitchell, 40, stopped to give him a ride in his truck. Korva told Mitchell about how he walks three miles to work and back home every day, inspiring Mitchell to post a picture of the two of them together with a message on Facebook.
"To all the people that say they want to work but can't find a job or don't have a vehicle all I can say is you don't want it bad enough!" Mitchell wrote.
"Through prayer God introduced me to Justin,'' Mitchell told TODAY. "I could tell he is honest and hard-working."
Mitchell initially said he wanted to get Korva a bicycle to help his commute to work, but people in the Rockwall community who saw Mitchell's Facebook post decided they wanted to do much more.
"The reaction has been overwhelming,'' Mitchell said.
Within less than 30 hours of his Facebook post on June 21, strangers donated $5,500 toward getting Korva a car. A donation box had been set up at Samee's Pizza Getti Italian Bistro & Lounge in Rockwall after owner Samee Dowlatshahi heard about Korva's story.
Two days later, Mitchell and others surprised Justin with a white 2004 Toyota Camry outside Taco Casa, a heartwarming scene that was captured on Facebook Live by Andy's wife, Mandi Mitchell.
A stunned Korva went around giving out hugs before checking out his new car, which was sold for a reduced price by Toyota of Rockwall after they heard about Korva's situation.
"Justin, you can't imagine all the people who wanted to help you," Mitchell said on the video. "So, instead of walking to work, buddy, you're driving this car from now on."
"Are you serious?" Korva said.
The money raised also allowed them to give him a year's worth of insurance and oil changes, plus a $500 gas card.
"We just want you to know, seriously, this community, nothing we love better than to have someone who works hard," Dowlatshahi said in the video. "We take a lot of pride in that. It's so hot out here, I can't believe you walk even one mile in this heat."
Korva's story is just the latest example of people coming together to help a stranger who normally has to walk a long distance to get to work.
In February, $4,000 was raised for another Texas man who walks 15 miles to work every day and inspired a local police officer.
A group of UPS workers in Alabama chipped in to buy a car for a teen co-worker in March after learning he walked five miles to work in the middle of the night for his shift.
Last year, a New Hampshire auto dealer donated a car to a local man who was walking a combined 16 miles a day to work two jobs.
Mitchell is just thankful for the outpouring of support for Korva from the local Rockwall community.
"You just helped a hard-working young man out with all your generosity,'' he wrote.
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