SOUTH FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — A father who has been walking his daughter to school on his shoulder for months was surprised with a free “sleigh” just in time for the holidays.
Channel 2′s Tyisha Fernandes was in South Fulton County, where volunteers with several different foundations came together to make the surprise happen.
The father asked not to be identified, but gave Channel 2 Action News permission to tell his story.
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It all started with one foundation, which adopts a family for Christmas every year. They adopted the father and his 6-year-old daughter and bought them gifts.
Philanthropist Monet Bartell said they knew the little girl was excited about learning to read.
“The very first thing they did was gift her the Scholastic Bookclub 1-year certificate,” Monet said.
Then, Monet said the organization found out the father was walking his daughter to school every day because he couldn’t afford a car. Every day, he would put her on his shoulders to make the walk seem fun.
Several organizations worked together to buy him a new car.
Sweet video shows the moments complete strangers were able to give the life-changing gift.
“Let me tell you, what it was for me was sitting in that car, watching him walk by,” Monet said. “I was like, ‘OMG, he has no idea his life is about to change.’ It gives me chill bumps right now. I cried watching it as if I wasn’t there.”
Monet said she brought her kids along to see where their Christmas money went this year.
Everyone involved said this was the most rewarding Christmas, and they plan to do it again next year.
“I think the spirit of Christmas has gotten lost in the things,” Monet said. “People are like, ‘Oooh, what did you get for Christmas?’ I say, ‘What did you give for Christmas?’ Because it’s about what you give.”