Single Dad Walked 11 Miles To Work. Then His Co-Workers Found Out And Changed His Life.

“For a young person to decide, ‘If I can’t get a ride, then I’ll walk.’ … If a guy can do that, we can pitch in.”

For seven months, Trenton Lewis walked the 11 miles from his home to the Little Rock, Ark., UPS facility where he worked. The commute took him three hours, but he had no car and a 14-month-old daughter for whom to provide. His legs ached, but he told no one how he got to his 4 a.m. shift each day.

"My pride is strong," Lewis told CNN. "I was banking on my feet … Whatever [daughter Karmen] needs, I'm the person who is supposed to provide it for her."

According to local news affiliate KATV, Lewis never missed a shift and was never late.

Eventually, his coworker Patricia Bryant found out about his pre-dawn treks. "She was like a second mom," Lewis told CNN. "She actually got upset with me when she found out I was walking to work."

Known as "Mama Pat," Bryant has put in nearly 40 years at UPS, as has her husband, Kenneth. The Bryants were inspired by their young coworker's dedication. 

"For a young person to decide in their mind, 'If I don't have a ride, if I can't get a ride, then I'll walk.' … If a guy can do that, we can pitch in to help," Kenneth Bryant told CNN.

Covertly, the Bryants told the other UPS employees at the facility about Lewis's story and started up a collection. Employees at the facility who didn't even know Lewis were impressed. Soon, the Bryants had collected $1,900.

"Everybody that I talked to said yes! The hardest part was reminding them to bring cash," Kenneth told CNN.

Then the Bryants found a 2006 Saturn Ion for sale. "I told the seller what I was doing and who it was for, and he said he was willing to work with me on a price," Kenneth told CNN. Wanting the surprise to be perfect, he even fixed a nick on the car's bumper.

And on February 3, the donors brought Lewis out to the parking lot under the guise of a union meeting. And that's when Kenneth Bryant gave the 21-year-old the keys to the car.

"He just pulled some keys out of his pocket, and I'm like 'That can't be mine. Those keys cannot be mine,' " Lewis told KATV. "He brought them to me, and my heart just dropped. This can't be real."

Then he took his first ride in his new set of wheels, driving to pick up his daughter to get some food.

These days, he doesn't have to leave home until 3:30 a.m. to get to work by 4. "It feels good because it's just me and the car," he told KATV. "I don't have to use my feet no more."

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