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Human kindness thread

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by Os Trigonum, Jul 7, 2021.

  1. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum Trust the process
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    "A mechanic opened a restaurant. On his days off, he fixes junk cars and gives them to people in need":

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2021/07/07/car-repair-restaurant-eliot-middleton/

    A mechanic opened a restaurant. On his days off, he fixes junk cars and gives them to people in need.

    By Sydney Page
    July 7, 2021 at 6:00 a.m. EDT

    On Christmas Day last year, Eliot Middleton showed up unannounced at Melanie Lee’s home in Andrews, S.C., with a white 1993 Oldsmobile.

    What happened next shocked her: Middleton, who she had never met before, put the key to the Oldsmobile in her hand. He didn’t charge her a dime. He just gave her the car, no strings attached.

    “I had no idea what was going on,” said Lee, 59. “He handed me the keys and didn’t ask for anything.”

    She is one of 33 people Middleton has gifted with a car in the last nine months. Middleton, 38, is a restaurant owner and former auto mechanic who spends his spare time repairing used cars and giving them to people in need in rural South Carolina.

    “There’s a lack of transportation in the rural areas, and I knew I could use my previous experience in mechanics to help,” Middleton said.

    Only a few weeks before Middleton dropped off the car, Lee’s 33-year-old son, who was ill for several years, passed away. After driving daily for two hours to and from the hospital in Charleston to visit him, her 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe broke down.

    She took the car to a shop to replace the transmission, but “I had no means of paying for it,” she said.

    She needed a car to help with child care for her two granddaughters, who are 12 and 6 and rely on her to pick them up from school every day and drive them to dance rehearsal.

    “This car meant everything to me,” said Lee about her refurbished Oldsmobile. “It was so needed.”

    The idea to fix and donate old vehicles came spontaneously to Middleton in early 2020, after he hosted a food drive and several local families showed up with no transportation. They walked more than four miles to get a hot meal.

    In a Facebook post, he made a call out to the local community in search of junk cars. He later pledged to trade slabs of his specialty, barbequed ribs, in exchange for broken-down vehicles.

    Since transportation is a big issue in the area, he said, in many cases, cars are the only reliable way to get to work, shopping centers and doctors’ appointments.

    “There’s no public transportation in the area whatsoever,” explained Middleton, who lives in McClellanville, a small fishing town on the Atlantic coast with a population of about 600 people. “We don’t have taxis and Ubers. Without a car, people don’t have a way to get around.”

    So, Middleton — who co-owns Middleton & Maker Village BBQ, a restaurant in the neighboring town of Awendaw, S.C. — decided to put his auto mechanic skills to use the two days a week he’s not at the restaurant.

    So far, nearly 100 vehicles have been donated for him to fix up.

    On any given day, there are at least 20 clunkers in Middleton’s yard — which he has transformed into a makeshift auto shop. At one point “we had 57 cars at my house,” he said.

    While some cars only need simple fixes like new tires or an oil change, others require a complete overhaul. If a vehicle is in really bad shape, Middleton harvests it for parts to repurpose.

    Prior to jumping into the restaurant industry, Middleton worked as an auto mechanic for 15 years. As a young boy in McClellanville, his plan was to follow in his father’s footsteps.

    “My dad was a mechanic, and I would hang out around his shop since I was 4 years old,” Middleton said. “I’ve always been fascinated by cars.”

    After he graduated high school, Middleton trained to become an auto mechanic, and in 2004, he and his father opened up their own auto service together. In was then, he said, that he first realized the dire need for transportation support in rural communities.

    “We had a lot of single moms as customers, and we always ran into problems with them not having enough funds,” Middleton recalled. “We spoke about trying to find a way to help them, but we never had the chance to sit down and figure something out.”

    Whenever they started to brainstorm ideas, something got in the way. Middleton’s father’s health began to decline, and in 2014, they closed the shop. Barbecuing has always been a side passion for Middleton, he said, so he decided to change course and pursue it professionally.

    Still, despite leaving the auto industry, the notion of repairing used vehicles for people in need remained a shared goal for Middleton and his father.

    But after receiving the first donated car in January 2020, several things in their lives took priority, including Middleton’s father’s failing health — he died in March 2020. Around the same time, Middleton opened a new restaurant, just as the coronavirus pandemic was taking hold.

    “Things started changing in my life, and I couldn’t focus on the car program the way I wanted to,” said Middleton, who has two daughters, ages 14 and 8.

    By September 2020, though, Middleton felt ready, with fresh motivation to honor his father’s legacy. He repaired the first car — a 1997 navy Toyota Camry — and gave it to an unemployed single mother of two children, one of whom is disabled and requires regular medical appointments.

    “She was astonished about the car being hers and she was crying,” said Middleton, adding that he heard about the woman’s financial challenges through a mutual friend on Facebook, and offered to surprise her with the car. “That felt great. I could feel my dad’s presence around me, and I could hear him saying ‘this is exactly what we always wanted to do.’”

    Within two months, the same woman was able to land a stable job, and she recently contacted Middleton to say she bought herself a new car and is donating the one he gave her back to him.

    “That blew me away,” Middleton said.

    The car program continued to gain momentum, and Middleton, who was initially funding the repairs out of pocket, decided to start a nonprofit called Middleton’s Village to Village to bolster the effort.

    Through word of mouth, requests to donate used cars started pouring in, including from Alice Blake, who offered up her red 2002 Oldsmobile Bravada.

    “I know how well the car served me, and I’m hoping it can do the same for someone else,” said Blake, 57.

    She considered restoring the vehicle and keeping it for herself, but when she heard about Middleton’s initiative, she decided to donate it and buy a new car.

    “I don’t even have words to express how happy it made me feel,” she said.

    Middleton’s waitlist of people needing cars grows by the day. While some people contact him directly explaining their need for a vehicle, others ask to surprise friends or family members with a car.

    “It’s moving so fast it’s just incredible,” Middleton said. “There is no free time between the restaurant and the program, but I don’t get tired. Something just keeps pushing me to do more.”

    The generosity of donors coupled with the elated reaction from recipients, he said, energizes him to keep going.

    Mike Jennings, 31, was completely floored when Middleton showed up at his home in Hanahan, S.C., with a refurbished 2000 Subaru Forester.

    “I knew he did it for people, but I never thought I’d be getting one,” said Jennings, who is also an auto mechanic and regularly volunteers to fix cars with Middleton. “It’s awesome to be able to help out and see other people receive cars also.”

    Jennings’s own car died, and his fiancé was furloughed during the pandemic. Thanks to Middleton, “I was able to keep paying the bills and keep a roof over my family’s head,” he said.

    Local officials say the car program has had an effect on their small towns, and in October, Middleton won a Jefferson Award, a national honor that recognizes Americans who exhibit exceptional public service.

    “People think Eliot is an angel, and I do, too,” said Frank McClary, the mayor of Andrews S.C. “You’d think he has a team behind him, but it’s just him and it blows me away.”

    “Somehow, someway, he is finding the energy to be a great father and a great community leader, and it’s absolutely mind boggling to see what he can do,” McClary continued.

    Middleton said the support from the rural South Carolina community has made the program possible.

    “It’s been a real team effort,” he said, adding that in conjunction with donating cars and parts, people have dropped off food and volunteered their time to assist with repairs. “I can’t express how much the support means to me.”

    The car program, Middleton said, has changed the lives of many people — including his own.

    “It has been a wonderful, life-altering experience, and we’re just getting started,” he said. “My dad might not be here, but I feel him right here with me. He would be very proud.”


     
  2. Roc Paint

    Roc Paint Contributing Member

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    I love being kind to humans that deserve it
     
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  3. Jugdish

    Jugdish Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Roc Paint

    Roc Paint Contributing Member

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    I would actually be on my knees washing feet
     
  5. durvasa

    durvasa Contributing Member
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    What percentage of the people he gifted cars to are minorities, and is this less than the minority percentage in his community? Can't decide if he did a good thing or not until I have this crucial information.

    Edit: Sorry, this is D&D after all.
     
  6. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member

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    Why is he giving cars and not bicycles? He's just contributing to Climate Change and to the automobile patriarchy..

    Now that's the way you do it. ;)
     
  7. Roc Paint

    Roc Paint Contributing Member

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    lol, you’re obviously part of the piece of ****problem in this country. What have you done for the betterment of society?
     
  8. Roc Paint

    Roc Paint Contributing Member

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    The majority of people on here are so sad and stupid. I suggest all of you Unfollow me
     
  9. Roc Paint

    Roc Paint Contributing Member

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    I like talking to myself on here anyway
     
  10. Os Trigonum

    Os Trigonum Trust the process
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    can't believe you're rooting for Milwaukee
     
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  11. Roc Paint

    Roc Paint Contributing Member

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    Let’s just start with clutch fan members

    1. Ran strip clubs where I invited members to come in on free cover free drinks and free lap dances. Not only that, I gave away Rockets memorabilia all for free.

    2. started a community service group where we had up to 30 members on this website contributing to the benefit of Houston

    3. what have any of you assholes done
     
  12. Jugdish

    Jugdish Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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  13. Roc Paint

    Roc Paint Contributing Member

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    I may be rooting for them, but I believe I know who’s going to win it
     
  14. Roc Paint

    Roc Paint Contributing Member

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    Let’s just pray that clutch moves this thread
     
  15. Roc Paint

    Roc Paint Contributing Member

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    You so called Houston basketball fans are mostly very sad people with absolutely no lives. Keep up the good work!
     
  16. Roc Paint

    Roc Paint Contributing Member

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    I guess I should’ve just left this thread fall to the second page that way I don’t have to deal with all you idiots. I actually bumped it because I like @Os Trigonum, and very few humans

    I like pets, plants, old people and children. The rest of you able-bodied humans can suck my dick
     
  17. Roc Paint

    Roc Paint Contributing Member

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  18. Roc Paint

    Roc Paint Contributing Member

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    I see the monitors are on their game
     
  19. Jugdish

    Jugdish Member

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    [​IMG]
     
    B-Bob, ThatBoyNick and Nook like this.
  20. Roc Paint

    Roc Paint Contributing Member

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    Low blow lizard boy when it comes to all the snakes around here
     

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