Mom buys car for her daughter's teacher who had to commute four hours a day

Courtney Adeleye, a successful hair-care entrepreneur, was dismayed to find out that her daughter’s teacher had to make multiple bus transfers for an hours-long trip to and from school every day. So she bought a brand new vehicle, wrapped it in a bow, and gave the teacher a life-changing surprise.

Giving a ride to someone ― be it friend, family member, or even a stranger ― is probably one of the more common examples of people helping people. But how do you make that act of mutuality even more significant and meaningful?

Buy her a car.

And that’s exactly what a successful entrepreneur and chief executive officer in Alabama did for her daughter’s grade school teacher, Amanda Robertson, who was making several bus transfers every day just to make it to school.

“To find out someone is going through something like that, taking hours to get to work … was something that was just devastating for me, someone so close to my children,” said Courtney Adeleye, founder and CEO of hair care line The Mane Choice, in a talk with MassMutual. “So I just really felt compelled to do something about it.”

When Adeleye and her husband, a doctor, surprised Robertson with a brand new Ford Focus, wrapped in a giant ribbon, at the Huntsville Christian Academy, there were tears of surprise and gratitude. 

“You’re really serious?” the teacher asked Adeleye in the video. Then Robertson begins to cry and hug Adeleye and Adeleye’s husband. “Oh my gosh, I don’t know what to say. I can’t believe this.”

“To see her crying and just saying, … ‘Now I don’t have to wait on the bus for hours.’ … It was just really life changing, because sometimes we just take things for granted,” said Adeleye.

And the gift has made a difference.

“Having a car has definitely changed my life,” Robertson told MassMutual, explaining her old car died sometime earlier. “It has made me more independent. Also, it’s been good for my family, because I was missing a lot of things.”

Such inspiring, car-giving moments stand out as acts of mutuality where people, out of concern for the welfare of one another, make a gift that will make a difference and goes above and beyond the norm.

Like the employees of an auto center in South Carolina who teamed up to get a car for a co-worker who could no longer afford the long commute. Or the community in Texas that raised money for a 20-year-old who was walking more than six miles to and from his restaurant job every day.

And Adeleye makes such generosity part of the fabric of her life and business. Indeed, her company has a program where a lucky customer gets their bill paid for the month. And she put that program to work for people affected by Hurricane Harvey last year.

“There are still a lot of people out there willing to help and jump in, so that’s something I’m definitely proud to be able to have shown as well,” said Adeleye. “… I definitely believe we can still count on each other. I think it’s important to show us counting on each other. I think it’s inspiring to one another.”

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