Anyone who’s had a case of the Mondays knows how hard it can be to get out of bed and off to work. That effort pales in comparison to the North Carolina resident who would leave home at 3 AM every day to walk six miles to work and six miles back. In the midst of a harsh winter, one police officer took it upon himself to intervene. Read on to see how one kind act led to a chain of events that changed this hard worker’s life for the better.
Looking For A Job
Jaylesya Corbett was your average young woman looking for a job near her home in North Carolina. She decided to apply to a fast-food chain called Bojangles.
Since she needed the work to pay her bills, Jaylesya applied to numerous locations despite the fact she didn’t have a car. Whatever she had to do, she was determined to get to whatever spot would hire her. Fortunately, there was a Bojangles who did accept her application.
The One Problem
Jaylesya wasn’t bitter about the fact she’d have to be on her feet all day while at work. She was just grateful that the place was giving her a chance and would provide her with the funds needed to support herself.
The one problem was that the location that moved her forward to the hiring process was six miles away. They also were going to need her to start early in the morning, at 5 AM!
Waking Up In The Middle Of The Night
While most workers were still fast asleep, Jaylesya would get up in time to leave her house by 3 AM! If that weren’t exhausting enough, she’d then embark on a six mile journey over the course of the next two hours just to start her eight-hour shift.
Being in the food industry means staying on your feet for more or less the entire day. That’s what Jaylesya would do before then walking another two hours home.
Trekking Through All Four Seasons
Whether it was hot and humid in the summer or rainy and freezing in the winter, Jaylesya would keep walking to work. The long hours on her feet were enough to wear her out, but the weather was a whole other beast.
She’d have to arrive to work soaked in either sweat or rain, and put on a brave face to get through the day. All the while, Jaylesya knew it was only a matter of hours before she’d have to endure the long walk back.
Someone Finally Took Notice
It was during one of Jaylesya’s long walks to work that someone took notice of the hard-working woman. She was making her way through the pouring rain, and a driver couldn’t help but stop to offer some assistance.
It’s possible that other drivers had wanted to stop and ask if Jaylesya needed help before, but probably didn’t want to frighten the woman. In this case, the driver knew he could offer her some reassurance because helping citizens is his sworn duty.
An Officer’s Helping Hand
The person who pulled up beside Jaylesya was Nash County Sergeant Scott Bass. The woman knew she hadn’t done anything wrong, and the officer quickly confirmed that he just wanted to help.
He’d seen her at an intersection and noticed her Bojangles uniform. Sgt. Bass knew that it was too cold for anyone to comfortably make it to the restaurant’s location, so he stopped to ask Jaylesya if she’d like a ride to work in his police car.
A Welcome Relief
Jaylesya was happy to take the officer up on his offer to drive her to work. Though she’d now have time to kill before her shift began, she at least could do so relaxing.
The drive would also give her feet extra time to recover before she had to get back up for work. If she was lucky, Jaylesya might even have a moment to get a quick nap in to have some extra energy for the walk home.
The Cop Couldn’t Stop Thinking About Her
Sgt. Bass did a great thing taking Jaylesya to work, but he couldn’t help but feel that it wasn’t enough. He now knew that she was out there every morning making her way through the freezing cold.
That’s why the officer made an effort to give her a ride as often as possible. He told ABC11, “It just kinda really weighed on me and bothered me and every day that I gave her a ride I just, for some reason just talked to my wife about her.”
Getting The Word Out
Sgt. Bass’ wife isn’t the only person he spoke to about Jaylesya. He also told his fellow officers about the commuting worker so that they could keep an eye out for her.
Whenever possible, Sgt. Bass and his fellow officers would drive along Jaylesya’s route to pick her up and take her the rest of the way to work. Though the team effort was sincere, they still had their own tasks to prioritize, so they couldn’t always be there for her.
Sgt. Bass Came Up With A Plan
After helping Jaylesya as much as he could with rides, Sgt. Bass came up with an idea. He figured that the best way to help her would be to get her a faster mode of transportation that she could use every day.
The cop decided that a bike would be the most reasonable solution, but he still had to figure out how to attain one. He could try to raise money, but that might take too long.
Walmart Stepped In To Help
What the officer elected to do instead is reach out to Walmart and share Jaylesya’s story. He picked out a bike that would be perfect for her and asked the retailer if they could do anything to make it more affordable.
As with everyone Sgt. Bass had spoken to before, the Walmart team was touched by the story and the officer’s goodwill. They decided to donate the bicycle completely free of charge so Jaylesya would have something to ride.
Presenting The Bike To The Deserving Worker
After spending months and months walking to and from work with an occasional ride here or there, Jaylesya was exhausted. She pushed through because she had no other way to pay her bills.
Her hard-working demeanor finally paid off when Sgt. Bass presented her with her new bike. By now, their story was making headlines and they posed for photos with the two-wheeler. Though it wouldn’t keep Jaylesya out of the cold, it would cut her commute significantly down.
There Was Just One Problem
Jaylesya was immediately grateful for the bike and couldn’t help but smile at all the people who showed they cared about her. Still, there was one little problem that she had to face.
Jaylesya had never been taught how to ride a bike. With a determination like hers, though, you can bet she did her best to try and learn how to ride. Sgt. Bass even helped her get the hang of it and encouraged her to make use of the quicker alternative.
As Sgt. Bass and Jaylesya posted about their story on social media, people started to take notice. Before long, the heartwarming story had gone viral, garnering them attention on a national level.
Local news stations covered them first, and then national news wanted to feature the unlikely friendship. The story made it to CBS and was featured on YouTube, as well. People couldn’t get enough of this officer’s excellent display of kindness and what it truly means to be a public servant.
An Appearance On The Steve Harvey Show
The story was especially moving to one television personality in particular. Steve Harvey had Sgt. Bass and Jaylesya on his Facebook Watch series so they could share their story.
They both were humbled to have gained so much attention. The five-minute episode garnered over 300,000 reactions on Facebook and 22,000 comments. Steve noted how important it is to show police officers doing wonderful things for their community, and praised Jaylesya for being an outstanding example of determination.
A Round Of Applause
Being on Steve Harvey’s show didn’t just get Sgt. Bass and Jaylesya’s story more attention. It also gave them the opportunity to receive a round of applause from an audience.
Though the pair had already received a ton of positive reinforcement online, there’s nothing like being recognized in person. Steve Harvey was also able to express face-to-face how much he enjoyed their story and sees it as a source of inspiration and a bright spot worth sharing.
Another Piece Of Good News
While Jaylesya was on his show, Steve Harvey inquired about any good news that’s happened at work. Of course, her employers caught wind of the story and had a newfound appreciation for their dedicated worker.
Jaylesya shared that the people at Bojangles were so impressed with her commitment to her job that they transferred her to another location and gave her a promotion! The recognition was well deserved and now Jaylesya had even more income to support herself with.
A Big Surprise
Jaylesya’s trouble getting to work all came down to financial woes. Despite not having enough cash to get a vehicle, she still remained a determined employee who was grateful just to be able to pay her bills.
That kind of outlook was so touching to Steve Harvey that he presented her with a big gift on her show. He told Jaylesya that she would be receiving a check for $5,000! At last, she could buy a car! But that wasn’t all…
She Finally Got A Car!
Steve Harvey didn’t want Jaylesya spending all of her reward on a used vehicle. So, he got in touch with Capital Ford in Jaylesya’s hometown in North Carolina.
The company was so touched by their fellow resident’s story that they gave her a brand new Ford Fiesta SE! When Steve Harvey revealed the car on his show, Jaylesya’s jaw dropped. She and Sgt. Bass had a tearful hug before Jaylesya went to sit in her new ride!
It All Started With One Small Act Of Kindness
Jaylesya was just trying to make ends meet, even if that meant walking 12 miles a day to and from her job. Sgt. Bass couldn’t help but get involved and the more he learned about this amazing woman, the more he wanted to share her story with those who could help.
From getting a bike courtesy of Walmart, to a promotion at work, to a $5,000 reward and a brand new Ford Fiesta on the house, Jaylesya remained humble and grateful. Both Jaylesya and Sgt. Bass are inspiring examples of what can come of sincere effort.