This 20-year-old was brought to tears after his city surprised him — big time.

The 95-degree heat was blistering in Rockwall, Texas, earlier this month. But Justin Korva didn't let it deter him.

The Taco Casa restaurant employee was on his typical walk to work when Andy Mitchell, a local businessman, spotted him alongside the road. Mitchell asked the 20-year-old if he needed a ride.


It was a carpool experience he'll never forget.

"Meet my friend Justin!" Mitchell later wrote in a Facebook photo caption. "He told me he walks three miles to work and home every day."

Meet my friend justin! I picked this boy up this am and gave him a ride to work at taco casa. He told me he walks 3...

Posted by Andy Mitchell on Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Yep, that's right. Without the funds to buy a vehicle, Korva walked three miles in the Texas heat — each way — in order to earn a paycheck.

Mitchell's photo quickly began making waves in the Rockwall community.

In just a few days, hundreds of likes, shares, and interest in helping Korva filled the post's comment section.

Image via Facebook/Andy Mitchell.

That's when folks jumped in to act.

"I felt compelled to do something,” says Danny Rawls, general sales manager at Toyota of Rockwall.

Rawls learned that his friend, restaurant owner Samee Dowlatshahi, had set out a donation box for Korva at his local Italian bistro, CBS News reported. According to The Independent, that box had garnered a whopping $5,500 in just two days, from patrons looking to help Korva get a car.

Rawls chatted with his boss at the dealership to see if they could get the price down on a vehicle for Korva using the funds raised at Dowlatshahi's restaurant. His boss liked the idea.

On June 23, the team at the dealership and other community members surprised Korva outside Taco Casa with a 2004 Toyota Camry.

"Justin, you can't imagine all the people who wanted to help you," Mitchell said at the surprise event. "So, instead of walking to work, buddy, you're driving this car from now on."

Photo courtesy of Toyota of Rockwall.

The folks in Rockwall had raised enough money for the car, insurance for a year, two years' worth of oil changes, and a $500 gas card.

Photo courtesy of Toyota of Rockwall.

"Are you serious?" an emotional Korva asked, giving away hugs and wiping away tears.  

Photo courtesy of Toyota of Rockwall.

It may seem like a grand gesture. But the motive behind the gift was a pretty simple act of kindness, if you ask Jason Kirksey.

“Sometimes when you see a need, you try and fill that need," says Kirksey, internet sales director at the dealership.

There are millions of Justins out there this very moment, fighting uphill battles to make ends meet.

We may not all have the power to give away cars, but we all have the power to chip in and make a difference when it counts.

After all, finding the simple ways you can help can counter the false idea that the bad outweighs the good out there.

“The world is not that bad — if you look around and you find the good things to focus on," says Kirksey, applauding his community in Rockwall. "If you focus on the good things, the bad things seem not so bad.”

Courtesy of Back on My Feet
True

Having graduated in the top 10% of Reserve Officer Training Corp (ROTC) cadets nationwide in 2012, Pat Robinson was ready to take on a career in the Air Force full speed ahead.

Despite her stellar performance in the classroom and training grounds, Robinson feared other habits she'd picked up at Ohio University had sent her down the wrong tracks.

First stationed near Panama City, Florida, Robinson became reliant on alcohol while serving as an air battle manager student. After barnstorming through Atlanta's nightclubs on New Year's Eve, Robinson failed a drug test and lied to her commanding officer about the results.

Eleven months later, she was dismissed. Feeling ashamed and directionless, Robinson briefly returned home to Cleveland before venturing west to look for work in San Francisco.

After a brief stint working at a paint store, Robinson found herself without a source of income and was relegated to living in her car. Robinson's garbage can soon became littered with parking tickets and her car was towed. Golden Gate Park's cool grass soon replaced her bed.

"My substance abuse spiraled very quickly," Robinson said. "You name it, I probably used it. Very quickly I contracted HIV and Hepatitis C. I was arrested again and again and was finally charged and sentenced to substance abuse treatment."

Keep Reading Show less
via Taber Andrew Bain / Flickr

The tiniest state with the longest name may soon just be the tiniest state after November 3. Rhode Island is voting on whether to change its official name from "The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations" to "The State of Rhode Island."

Lawmakers in the state would like to shorten the name because the term "plantations" has a historical connection to slavery in the United States.

This isn't the first time the state has attempted to remove "plantations" from its name. Rhode Island attempted the change ten years ago and 78% of voters opposed the idea.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo courtesy of Claudia Romo Edelman
True

When the novel coronavirus hit the United States, life as we knew it quickly changed. As many people holed up in their homes, some essential workers had to make the impossible choice of going to work or quitting their jobs— a choice they continue to make each day.

Because over 80 percent of working Hispanic adults provide essential services for the U.S. economy, the Hispanic community is disproportionately affected. Hispanic families are also much more likely to live in multigenerational households, carrying the extra risk of infecting the most vulnerable. In fact, Hispanics are 20 times more likely than other patients to test positive for COVID-19.

Claudia Romo Edelman saw a community in desperate need of guidance and support. And she created Hispanic Star, a non-profit designed to help Hispanic people in the U.S. pull together as a proud, unified group and overcome barriers — the most pressing of which is the effects of the pandemic.

Because the Hispanic community is so diverse, unification is, and was, an enormous challenge.

Photo credit: Hispanic Star

Keep Reading Show less

Electing Donald Trump to be president of the United States set an incredibly ugly example for the nation's youth.

We know how it's affected the national discourse of regular adults. But there's no denying the conduct of a president impacts how children around the world see the example being set for them. Every day for the past four years, children have been subjected to the behavior of a divisive figure that many of their parents chose to exalt to the most powerful office in the world.

Sure, adults can make excuses for him saying he's an "imperfect messenger" or that they "didn't vote for him to be reverend," but these are all just ways to rationalize voting for a man with zero character. What a message to send to children: Act awful and you'll be handsomely rewarded.

But what if you took away the "Trump" name and examined the character traits of him as an ordinary person? More specifically, what if your daughter came to you and said this was the kind of person she was planning to date? Well, one MAGA family found out and the results are funny, insightful and quite revealing about how we somehow hold our leaders to different and lower standards than we expect from ourselves in our day to day lives.

Keep Reading Show less
File:Delta Airlines - Boeing 767-300 - N185DN (Quintin Soloviev ...

Want to land yourself on a no-fly list? Refuse to wear a mask on an airplane. Delta is actually having to ban people from flights for not wearing masks. "As of this week, we've added 460 people to our no-fly list for refusing to comply with our mask requirement," Delta CEO Ed Bastian said in a message to employees per CNN. The number is up from 270 people in August. It's kinda nuts that people are so against covering their nose and mouth that they're actually willing to get kicked off an airline, but here we are.

We're a good seven months in to the pandemic, so having to wear some kind of protective covering isn't new anymore. Delta flights have been requiring face masks on flights since May 4th, and has been barring rule breakers from traveling since June. Delta is also one of two major U.S. airlines that keeps the middle seat open (at least until the end of 2020).

Keep Reading Show less