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TAYLORSVILLE — A two-hour commute to work was significantly reduced for a school custodian who crossed paths with a couple of kind strangers.
Robert Bean Ford said he rode the bus and TRAX two hours each way to get to work.
In mid-October, Ford was unable to catch his ride home, and Sean Merrill said he saw him walking.
Merrill was picking his wife up from work around 9:30 p.m. and asked Ford if he needed a ride. Ford turned him down twice, but Merrill insisted.
On the ride home, Ford told Merrill about his long commute. Merrill kept thinking about his situation for a few days following their encounter.
Merrill wanted to help Ford and met with Ford's sister-in-law to learn more about his story. He said he felt he was someone who needed a break.
Merrill decided to launch a GoFundMe account* and has so far raised more than $1,800.
Merrill, a mechanic and owner of Nobori Auto, found a car and fixed it up for Ford. Merrill has been able to raise enough money to pay for safety and emissions, registration and insurance.
About a month ago, this wonderful couple saw Robert walking home from work. They stopped and gave him a ride and In their words; "We couldn't get him off our minds." They set up a go-fund-me account and collected enough to "find Robert a ride" Sean Merrill is a mechanic, so he got to work and made sure Robert was taken care of. Here's the wonderful outcome. Thanks to Sean and Darilyn Merrill, for their Christ-like charity!https://www.gofundme.com/bx6tp3daPosted by Kathy Ford on Saturday, November 21, 2015
Saturday, the Merrills surprised Ford with his new car. When Ford saw the car, he started crying. "I think it's important to take a step back and think about others and think about that they are a person just like you," Merrill said. "They go through the same struggles, maybe different experiences, but everyone needs help now and again."
Now, it takes about 20 minutes for Ford to drive to work. He said the car blew him away and he no longer has to freeze while waiting for the bus.
Ford is grateful to the Merrills and the people who donated to his cause.
"If it wasn't for them, I'd be still riding the bus," Ford said. "I owe them a lot, and I'm going to do my best … help somebody else."
*KSL.com does not assure that the monies deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.