MOORE, Okla. (KOKH) — A surprise ride from a stranger has completely changed the life of an Oklahoma man who used to walk 17 miles per day to get to work.
"I wasn’t expecting it, but really it was a true blessing he gave me a ride," said Donte Franklin.
Franklin is the type of person who goes the extra mile for his job. Actually, he treks more than eight miles there and back.
I really don’t care if it gets tiring. I just have to keep pushing," He said, "I walk just to make my family proud.
Because he rarely has a ride, to get to work on time as a cook at the Buffalo Wild Wings on the other side of town Donte has to leave his house about three hours before his shift starts.
And yet, "I haven’t missed a shift at all," said Donte.
He's never even been late. The job means too much to him.
As for where he gets the strength, Donte says most of his motivation comes from his mom, who sadly no longer walks this earth.
She passed away when I was 16-years-old. She had Hepatitis C. After she passed away it’s just been hard for me," he explained.
But last week, on a day the Oklahoma heat was relentlessly blazing down, a stranger offered to pick him up and ended up turning his life around.
"I’m like man he’s walking a long way," said Michael Lynn, the driver who offered Donte a ride.
Impressed by his dedication, Lynn posted about Donte's story on Facebook. It was then shared more than a thousand times and in a matter of days inspired others to donate more than $26,000 for Donte to buy a car.
If it can make just one person go help someone else that’s all that matters," said Lynn.
"I can really help my family with this," said Donte, "It’s just a really good blessing."
And the blessings don't stop there. A local bike club also gifted him a brand new bicycle to hold him over until he gets his driver’s license.
As a result, his long walks to work are now long behind him. Plus, he’s even gained a new friend to help him as he begins navigating the road ahead.
I think we need to keep each other," said Lynn as the two embraced, "I love this guy like my own.
If you’d like to donate to the GoFundMe set up for Donte, you can do so by clicking here.