When 21-year-old Trenton Lewis had his daughter, his whole life came into perspective.
“When I had my daughter, I knew I had to step up. I didn’t have a job when she was born,” he said.
“I wanted to be with my daughter, to be able to support her. I wanted to be a father,” Lewis told Arkansas Matters.
Lewis got a job loading trucks at UPS, and he was there every day when his shift started at 4 a.m. The only problem was, he didn’t have a car.
Day after day, Lewis got up before midnight and started his walk. He would walk five and a half miles to work, then back again once his shift ended.
“It will probably take me two-and-a-half or three hours,” he said. “I had music in my head. I was just walking, not worried about nothing, I was just moving my feet.”
Lewis was never late for a shift, no matter what the weather was like.
A coworker would give him a ride once in a while, but most of the time he got there using his own two feet.
One of his coworkers, Patricia Bryant, was amazed by Lewis’ work ethic.
She mentioned his daily trek to her husband, Kenneth Bryant — a long-time UPS driver.
“If someone has that type of determination, I’d be willing to help them,” Kenneth said. “We just wanted to lend somebody a helping hand.”
Kenneth started to ask around for donations for Lewis. He wanted to surprise him with a gift that would change his work/life balance.
Once the surprise was finished, Kenneth called Lewis to the parking lot under the guise of a union meeting. When Lewis arrived, Kenneth took the keys out of his pocket.
“He just pulled some keys out of his pocket, and I’m like ‘That can’t be mine. Those keys cannot be mine,’ ” Lewis recalled. “He brought them to me and my heart just dropped. This can’t be real.”
Now, instead of a three hour walk both ways, Lewis can get to work in about a half hour.
“It feels good because it’s just me and the car. I don’t have to use my feet no more,” Lewis said.