A Lyft driver’s whole life was changed forever after he had an encounter with a passenger who was different from others in every way.
David Daniels works as a Lyft driver and in November he met passenger 28-year-old, Ed Hays Jr., from Shreveport, Louisiana, who was upbeat and excited to get to work on a rainy evening!
Daniels was surprised at his jolly demeanor, “It was about 6 o’clock at night and it was pouring rain,” Daniels, 29, said. “On rainy days, people are normally in a foul mood. [Hays] came in [my car] … he was so excited. I asked, ‘How’s your night going?’ He said, ‘It couldn’t be better. I just found out I got promoted at my job to lead cashier.’”
“Yeah I’m just so excited I had enough money for a Lyft today so I don’t have to walk since it’s pouring down rain,” Daniels recalled Hays telling him in a TikTok video.
As time passed Daniels learned that his passenger walked over 11-mile to work every day. It took him about an hour and a half one way (5.7 miles), but he was just thankful to have a job. “I said, ‘Are you kidding me? You walk that far every day?’” Daniels said. “So after walking six miles to work the graveyard shift, he was walking six miles back to his house.”
Daniels was so impressed by the young man’s work ethic that he started a GoFundMe for him. He shared the story on TikTok, saying “we got to get on this man’s level.” He raised $5,500 for a set of wheels for 28-year-old Hays, plus $2,500 to be given to him. He took help from Beau Witkowski and Derrick Thomas at SBC Autos to get a 2001 Mercury Grand Marquis in good condition for Hays and is also helping him to get his license.
A surprised Hays never expected all of this even in his dreams, “I was never expecting all of this,” the new owner of the car said. “I give him all credit for everything he’s doing. He’s like a saint.” Witkowski and Thomas are happy to be a part of this act of kindness. “For Ed to get up every morning, rain, sleet or shine, put a smile on … we wanted to help to him get to where he needed to be,” Witkowski said.
David Daniels, a part-time Lyft driver, made a plea on TikTok to help get cashier Ed Hays Jr. into his own vehicle. https://gma.abc/2WqZH5a
Posted by Good Morning America on Thursday, December 17, 2020
“We love the great news with everything our country is going through with COVID-19 and to be able to fill a need here, why wouldn’t we jump on that and make an impact on our community where we can?” Thomas said. Hays works many times a week prepping food at a restaurant and has a simple message for all who have been impacted by his termination, “Don’t let anything deter you from your goals,” he said. “You can always push through.”