He didn’t have a car and couldn’t find a ride, but he knew one thing: He had to get to work.
Walter Carr, a college student in Alabama, did last Friday what most people probably wouldn’t even consider. He walked more than 20 miles to make it to his first day of work on time, according to The Birmingham News.
After the U.S. Marine hopeful walked all night, Carr finally made it from Homewood to Pelham at 4 a.m., when a group of four police officers noticed him, picked him up and took him to breakfast before he started his workday at Bellhops, a moving company.
Carr received so much support and customer kudos for his work ethic, it caught the attention of company CEO Luke Marklin, who traveled from Chattanooga, Tennessee, to Pelham to reward the young staffer in a truly life-changing way.
This is an incredible story. The grit and heart Walter showed defines Bellhops' culture precisely. I'm really proud to be on the same team as Walter… we set a high bar on service and he just raised it. Look forward to thanking him in person this week. https://t.co/Fr4ytu5CM1
— Luke Marklin (@LukeMarklin) July 15, 2018
Marklin drove to Alabama under the guise of wanting to have coffee with Carr to personally thank him for making the overnight trek, but the CEO had much more in mind. At the end of their time together, Marklin handed Carr the keys to his own barely-driven 2014 Ford Escape.
“Seriously?” a clearly stunned and emotional Carr replied before embracing Marklin.
The Bellhops executive told Carr, who had moved to Alabama from New Orleans after he and his mother lost everything in Hurricane Katrina, he was “blown away” by his effort to make it to work on time.
We've all seen the amazing story shared by Jenny about one of our bellhops, Walter Carr, but many have asked if we have any video from the moment CEO @LukeMarklin thanked Walter for the perseverance he demonstrated on his first day w/ @BellhopsMoving #TheWorldNeedsMoreWalters pic.twitter.com/mXrvI2JQoP
— Bellhops (@BellhopsMoving) July 17, 2018
“We set a really high bar for the amount of heart and grit that we bring to our work every day — that we bring to our customers — and, man, you just blew it away,” the CEO said. “You really took it to the next level.”
Perhaps none of this would have happened, though, had Bellhops customer Jenny Lamey not praised Carr in a lengthy Facebook post over the weekend. In the post, Lamey said she was interrupted from staging her home for the movers when her doorbell rang at 6:30 a.m.
When Lamey and her husband, Chris, opened the door, they were greeted by a Pelham police officer who “proceeded to tell us that he had picked up ‘this nice kid’ in Pelham early this morning.” That “nice kid,” Lamey wrote, turned out to be Carr.
“You could tell how the officer told us this story that he had complete admiration for Walter and by my reaction he could tell I did too,” Lamey recalled in her post. “The police officer said they picked him up earlier that morning, took him to get some breakfast and once they checked his story out, brought Walter to our house.”
In December, Carr is slated to graduate from a local community college with his associate’s degree in health sciences. After graduating, he hopes to enlist in the military before traveling to Birmingham to complete a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy.
For Carr, the job at Bellhops was a major step toward achieving those goals.
“This was the first job in a long time to give me an opportunity to get hired,” he told The Birmingham News. “I wanted to show them I got the dedication. I said I’m going to get to this job one way or another.”
He then encouraged people to persevere even in tough times because they can “break through” any challenge, adding, “Nothing is impossible unless you make it impossible.”
“You can do anything you set your mind to,” Carr continued. “I’ve got God by my side.”