It’s the end of the year, which means only one thing: the holiday season has arrived! Remember, the holidays are a time to be selfless. One Florida man certainly knows that! He decided to gift a substitute teacher in need with what they most desperately wanted…
Losing a relative is never easy. However, when Cory Schneider lost his grandmother, he wanted to find as much joy in the process of letting go as he could. So, he decided to surprise someone in need with one of his grandmother’s most prized positions: her car. Loving the idea, he took to Reddit to find someone to gift the vehicle to. “1997 Ford Crown Victoria – white – around 100k miles, almost all driven by grandma.,” Schneider posted on the social media site. “Damn good physical appearance for a 24 year old car. I want to help someone who needs it with a free vehicle.”
While he expected Schneider expected a few responses, he felt almost overwhelmed by the number of responses he received. “As you’d suspect, there was a common theme of COVID-19 causing people to lose jobs, and placing challenges on their willingness to get on buses and things like that,” he later commented. “Although it was a good car, there are going to be things associated with having a 24-year-old vehicle that just will come up.” In the end, Schneider decided to go with a 31-year-old substitute teacher at Thurgood Marshall Middle School, Mark Selby. As a user informed Schneider, Selby lived with his mother and was recovering from a car accident – that’s how he lost his car. Even worse, Selby had no funds to purchase a new one as a substitute teacher…
“When I first got the call, I felt like I was going to cry,” Selby said. Michael Perry was the one who nominated Selby for a free car, and he also drove him to Disston Heights to meet Schneider. There, the two men didn’t just exchange two words; they decided to get some beer, celebrating the gift. But, believe it or not, this incredible story did not end there! Another member of the Reddit thread decided that the teacher needed even a bit more help!
A local entrepreneur, Marcel Gruber of St. Petersburg, gave out $400 to cover registration and other associated costs for the car. Although most of its parts were new, Selby would need some money for official documentation. “A free car isn’t always necessarily free,” said Gruber. “I didn’t know who I was giving it to but I figured if someone is in that dire of a need for a vehicle, then the registration costs might also be cumbersome.” Three men then discovered that they are actually neighbors! Now, they’ve become friends and are working on other fantastic ideas. Selby always wanted to build an orphanage, and receiving such a beautiful gesture made him believe his dream might actually become a reality someday.
Of course, the fantastic interaction also brought a light to many during a dark year. “It’s kind of like being in a sailboat but the wind has kept you from getting to shore,” Selby said. “But then all of the sudden it changes and you’re on your way.”