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.”

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

When schools closed early in the spring, the entire country was thrown for a loop. Parents had to figure out what to do with their kids. Teachers had to figure out how to teach students at home. Kids had to figure out how to navigate a totally new routine that was being created and altered in real time.

For many families, it was a big honking mess—one that many really don't want to repeat in the fall.

But at the same time, the U.S. hasn't gotten a handle on the coronavirus pandemic. As states have begun reopening—several of them too early, according to public health officials—COVID-19 cases have risen to the point where we now have more cases per day than we did during the height of the outbreak in the spring. And yet President Trump is making a huge push to get schools to reopen fully in the fall, even threatening to possibly remove funding if they don't.

It's worth pointing out that Denmark and Norway had 10 and 11 new cases yesterday. Sweden and Germany had around 300 each. The U.S. had 55,000. (And no, that's not because we're testing thousands of times more people than those countries are.)

The president of the country's largest teacher's union had something to say about Trump's push to reopen schools. Lily Eskelsen Garcia says that schools do need to reopen, but they need to be able to reopen safely—with measures that will help keep both students and teachers from spreading the virus and making the pandemic worse. (Trump has also criticized the CDCs "very tough & expensive guidelines" for reopening schools.)

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