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Tehachapi man walks 17 miles each way to work, locals raise money for car

Posted: 5:40 PM, Aug 13, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-14 04:15:26Z

Chris Kirkwood is 24 years old and works at the Bear Valley Market near Tehachapi. Some days he restocks shelves, some days he fills propane tanks and other days he cleans the bathroom. His boss says he's never missed a day of work or called in sick, making him the best employee.

Chris doesn't have a car. He said he's tried to save up, but paying rent and eating come first, so he hasn't been able to put the money aside. Some days, his brother can give him a ride to work. When his brother gets stuck at his own job, rather than ask for help, Chris chooses to walk the 17 miles to work, which takes about four hours each way.

When Tehachapi resident Lisa Tapola saw Chris walking on the side of the road, she said God called her to stop and ask him if he needed a ride. She said he sheepishly accepted and during the ride, she heard his story.

Lisa then took to social media, posting about Chris in a local Facebook group. She said she got hundreds of responses; people wanted to chip in and help the young man buy a car.

So far, hundreds of dollars have been raised for Chris. Lisa hopes to give him the money within the week. 

"You see all these stories all the time and then you basically wake up and then you're one of them," said Chris, shocked and thankful to receive help from complete strangers.

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