Derrick Taylor, a 19-year-old from Alabama, is the kind of person who puts everyone before himself. The teen was walking a full 10 miles to work every day because he couldn’t afford a car — he also couldn’t afford not to work.
For the last year and a half, Taylor has worked at a UPS loading center where he lifts heavy packages on and off of trucks. He makes $11.90 an hour — all of which goes to supporting his sick mom, who can’t work, and his siblings.
Taylor’s average night schedule looks something like this: He hits the hay early, wakes up hours before his 4 a.m. shift and walks, in pitch black dark, the five miles to work. In Taylor’s schedule, there isn’t room for complaint.
The teen’s dedicated work ethic inspired his community of coworkers — they often offered to give Taylor rides, but the young man was usually too proud to take them. They came together, raised $1,100 and took the money down to a local car dealership, where they purchased a used Jeep Cherokee.
In an emotional video, J.D. Ward, Taylor’s co-worker, presents him with his new car. Jokes and laughter are exchanged between Taylor and his work crew, but underlying the banter is a deep-rooted gratitude. “This is a hard-working young man,” Ward said. “He makes me emotional. This young man wants to work so bad, he walks to work from way out of town.”
Taylor couldn’t believe it — and couldn’t hold back his tears. “If I could, I would go around and thank everybody one by one,” Taylor said in the video, as he checks out his new ride. “This is really going to change a lot for me, so thank you again.”
The team also gave him $300 to put towards liability insurance, to keep Taylor safe and covered on the road.
Taylor has been working since he was 14 to support his family — and this car has given him a glimpse of his future. “I wanna move up at UPS and become a [truck] driver and with the money I make as a driver I want to invest into something profitable,” he told the Daily Mail. “I really wanna go to school and get a degree in business and music engineering.”
For now though, the teen is simply enjoying the gift in a way that any excited young guy would — by driving his girlfriend around in his new wheels.