When Rock Springs native Richard Turner arrived at work last Thursday, little did he know that life was about to get a little easier when his co-workers gave him a 2001 Chevy Malibu gift.
Look, Richard has been driving six miles to and from work every day for the last six months, five days a week. With the weather getting colder and snow just around the corner, he wasn’t looking forward to the winter months.
Richard said he owned a car until April 2022, when it was repossessed because the co-signer of his car loan filed for bankruptcy and all of the co-signer’s assets were repossessed. And his car was gone. Luckily Richard had his trusty bike to rely on. Richard said he’s been trying to find a car since his car was impounded, but because of the impoundment on his file, no one would sell him a car. He also quickly found that even if he found a car, he couldn’t afford it.
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“I couldn’t get another vehicle,” Richard said. “My wife and I work for minimum wage. It was a struggle just to make ends meet.”
His colleagues Esther Rueda and Rubi Duran had noticed that Richard was cycling but didn’t think much about it until he was still cycling, even though it was getting colder outside. That’s when the two decided to do a little research and find out why he only rode a bike. After examining him more closely, they also noticed that he didn’t go home during his lunch break because it took too long to ride his bike to and from work.
That’s when Esther and Rubi found out that Richard didn’t have a car and came up with the idea of getting him one because he’s always helping at work.
“We appreciate him very much. He’s a good worker,” Rubi said. “If we need anything, he is ready to help us.”
Whether it’s cleaning up a mess, helping them fix something that’s broken, helping out as a cashier, or organizing the store with them, he’s always ready to help, Rubi said.
I really like his positive attitude. He never complains about anything.
~ Esther Rueda
With a sense of urgency, the two set out to find a car. Knowing that winter was coming soon, they didn’t want Richard out on his bike in the snow and cold.
They looked at a few cars, but both cars had problems. Then they saw photos of a 2001 silver Chevy Malibu for sale and asked to see it in person. They said everything happened so quickly after that. Not only was the car in pretty good condition, it ran well, had new tires on it and both the heating and air conditioning worked.
“It only took us a day to find a car,” Rubi said. “I think God helped us.”
The only problem was trying to get all the information they needed for the title, registration and number plates. Rubi and Esther kept asking Richard for information like his address, phone number and anything else they needed to make things right.
Richard said he was becoming suspicious and wondered why they would need this information, but he trusted them. Rubi and Esther once said they simply told Richard they weren’t trying to scam him, they just needed the information.
Rubi and Esther split the cost of the car, gas, registration, license plates and anything else they had to pay for so Richard didn’t have to worry about any expenses. Then they came up with a plan to give the car to Richard at work.
The next day the ladies brought the car to work.
“When they showed up with the vehicle and I realized it was for me, I started crying,” Richard said tearfully.
Richard said he was just grateful for what Rubi and Esther had done for him and was overcome with emotion.
“It’s not a new car but it’s usable and it’s warm now,” said Rubi.
Rubi and Esther’s decision to buy Richard a car couldn’t have come at a better time. It snowed this week with temperatures below freezing. Richard said he never expected anything like this to happen to him and is very grateful for what Rubi and Esther have done for him.