To call Linda Walton a hard worker would be an understatement, as her boss and coworkers recently discovered.
Linda is not one to complain, and if anyone would have asked her about her daily route to work and back home, she would have smiled humbly and explained that: “I get up a few hours early just to be on time.” In fact, that is exactly what Walton told CBS News and her fellow employees from Pristine Clean. “It’s just the last few years I’ve been going through a struggle.”
Every day, Walton wakes up at 5 am and walks more than a mile toward the bus stop closest to her home in Memphis Tennessee. Then, she gets on a bus that drives for two hours, making it just in time for her morning shift, which starts at 8:30 on the dot. In total, Linda spends about 6 hours a day in transit.
Not being one to complain, Linda never revealed the tiring journey she has to go through every day to her coworkers. In fact, it wasn’t until a team leader offered Linda a ride home that they understood just how far away she lived.
“She realized when she took her home from where she got on the bus from her house, she was walking about 40 minutes. It was a 12 to 13-minute drive from the bus stop to her house,” said Krissy Tammaro, the owner of Pristine Clean, to CBS News. “She came to work the next morning and told me about it.”
Hearing of this, Tammaro was quick to act. There was no question of what needed to be done, but the matter needed to get sorted as soon as possible.
“We knew what we had to do,” Tammaro said. “As a group, we came together.”
Once a fellow team member found a used car that was put up for sale and seemed like the right fit for Linda, everything fell right into place. Six employees studied the chosen car to make sure this was a suitable choice of vehicle, and once all approved, they all chipped in to make the purchase together.
“It took 9 hours to get the whole deal done,” Tammaro said. “I’m gonna be honest — we said prayers.”
Tammaro was the one who called Walton and asked that she would come to her house. When Linda arrived, she could not restrain her emotions at the sight of her coworkers and the new gift they bestowed upon her – a 1998 Pontiac Grand Prix.
“It’s a cute little thing, it’s mine!” exclaimed Linda, breaking down in tears.
Linda was speechless when she learned her friends from work also pitched in for new tires, the first month of car insurance, complete oil change and $100 in gas cards.
“I was totally surprised, totally surprised,” said Linda, “It’s like night and day. It’s like night and day. You would never understand. It’s a hard, long commute … My coworkers, they are my family.”
Tammaro was ecstatic to see Walton’s response, calling her smile the best gift she ever received:
“She deserves it. If anyone deserves it, it’s her,” Tammaro said.