Tampa Bay area mom who had five-hour bus commute gets a car

A Tampa Bay area mom who had a five-hour bus commute is getting help from the community. One man paid it forward and gave the mother a car.

Last month, 10News examined the problems with transit in the Tampa Bay area through the eyes of a mother of four.

Raven Britton struggles touched many 10News viewers, who offered to help.

Viewers called us offering to help her with rides and money.

The biggest surprise took place in Ruskin, Fla., where Julio Sanchez has fixed cars for more than a decade.

“For some reason, I've felt like I should do something,” Sanchez said.

He had never met Britton, but he knew he could make a difference in her life. In May, Sanchez watched how she took five buses to take her kids to daycare and get herself to work.

She was leaving her house at 6 a.m. each morning, and getting back after midnight when she worked overtime.

“I went to bed at 2 {p.m.} and had to get back up at 4 {a.m.},” Britton told 10News in May. “That’s why my hair is a mess.”

10News helped Sanchez and Britton meet.

“You're struggling, I saw you in the news. Sorry, I’m getting emotional,” Sanchez said as he held back tears. “If you would allow me, I would like to give you a car.”

“Really?” Raven asked. “What’s the catch, though?”

“There is no catch. It’s yours.” Julio replied.

He gave her the keys and she followed him to the car. Raven looked at the 2005 Pontiac G6, and gave Julio a hug while she thanked him for his generosity.

“All of us at one time need help from someone,” he said.

Someone helped Sanchez with shelter and food when he got to the U.S. from Cuba by himself at the age of 12.

Now, he got to pay it forward to Britton.

Britton was already overwhelmed with so much kindness, but there was still one more surprise.

Someone, who wanted to remain anonymous, sent her $300 towards her insurance.

“Oh, my god. Thank you whoever you are,” Britton said. “I never thought that this would be the outcome of that story. I'm just so happy.”

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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