Blake Pokley is a senior at Oakland University. This is a story he wrote to inspire others to help someone he found in need. This story is a beautiful example of seeing people through the eyes of Christ, and the power of deep friendships between kingdom workers like Blake, Phill, and Kyle.
On my way to work Wednesday, I was on Baldwin Road in Lake Orion and traffic was backed up. We were going about 10 mph and would stop intermittently (but, I’m sure you all know how traffic back-ups work). I saw someone on the right side of the road trudging through the snow and thought maybe their car had died or something, but I hadn’t seen a car on the side of the road. I rolled my window down so I could offer them a ride when I got close. As I approached, I yelled, “Can I give you a ride?!?”, and to that she replied, “Yes!” with a resounding sound of relief. She was a lady who seemed to be in her mid-40’s with her coat hood over her head. She got in the car so quickly and I had seen so many cars pass her before me, that I was confused, “No one has offered you a ride yet?”
“No. No one ever does, really.”
I asked where she was going: she was walking to work, a gas station a couple miles from where I picked her up.
“It isn’t a bad walk, normally. But, it is tough on days like today,” she told me, as snow was still falling at a continuous rate.
She began telling me about herself and why she didn’t have a car: she had a car that needed a new engine, which she couldn’t afford, so she scrapped it and put much of her savings toward another used car, which broke down shortly after.
“I have 4 kids and don’t get child support, so I have to work. If it means I have to walk, I walk. Every once in a while someone nice like yourself will offer me a ride, but like I said, that is rare.” Her kids are between the ages of 12 and 19.
I told her she was a trooper, but was sure she already knew that.
“What other choice do I have? I choose to laugh and enjoy life as much as I can. I am close with my kids and life isn’t bad; I just don’t have any money,” she said laughing.
I told her I didn’t know what I could do, but that I would like to try to arrange something to help her and her family out. We exchanged phone numbers and after I dropped her off, I called a friend, Phill Marney, who helps international students at Oakland find good cars for cheap. He is a certified mechanic, so he wanted to check the car out that she currently had to make sure he couldn’t fix it before trying to find a car to buy. He drove her home Wednesday from work, looked at the inner workings of the car, and has come to the conclusion that it is not worth fixing. He is looking for a car for her, but in the meantime is driving her to and from work (turns out he lives about a mile from her!).
Why I am telling you this: myself and another friend of mine, Kyle Vens, are each giving $500 toward a new used car for Tina. Phil normally gets pretty decent cars for around 3,000, so my goal is to get $2,000 from other donors. If you would like to donate, a campus pastor whom I am very close with runs a non-profit that will be taking care of the donations.
If you are interested in donating, you can do it on this page in the form below, or at our fundraiser link.