BELLEVILLE, ILLINOIS - In the spirit of Thanksgiving, a car repo worker recently helped an elderly couple pay off the outstanding bill on their car, which he had to repossess after they fell behind on their payments.
"It's just been a miracle," Pat Kipping, 69, said of what happened to her and her husband, Stan Kipping, 83.
"I don’t know where to even start. We got behind about three payments on the car. I had called the bank and I said, 'Can you please give me until Dec. 3 and I will catch up on them?' and they said, 'No.' So I hung up and prayed and then he, Jim, showed up to repossess the car," Pat Kipping told ABC News today of Jim Ford, a man she says she had never met before he came to repossesses her car last week.
"The next thing I know is that he showed up three days later and brought the car back," she continued. "He had it detailed, and the oil changed, and changed the light bulbs. It also came with a turkey. It is just so overwhelming for me.
"When they took my car, I thought my husband and I were going to break. I thought, 'We have no way of going places.' I prayed to God. I said, 'Whatever you decide, God, we’ll be OK.' And that’s what happened."
Pat Kipping said Ford took the car last Thursday and brought it back "all cleaned up" on Monday.
"He just has brought hope back into my life," Pat Kipping said of Ford. "He’s my best friend."
Ford told ABC News that he had received a notice from the bank asking him to go pick up the Kippings' car, so he went out that night but saw that they were sleeping and decided to come back the next morning.
"The next morning I woke up and I just called her, and I said, 'I got a repo order on your car. Why don’t you call them and see if there is something you can work out with them?'" Ford told ABC News today. "Then she called me back about 15 minutes later and said, 'You have to come take the car,' that she couldn’t work it out.
"So I end up going to their house. They invited me in and they were telling me about the prescription costs and saying how when they pay for their prescriptions for the medicine, they can't pay their car payment.
"Then Stan was telling me, 'Thanks a lot, Jim, you’re a good guy, if I win the lottery I’m going to split it with you,' which just hit me in the gut," Ford said. "Then I take their car and I call the bank and I said, 'Hey, how much is it if I just pay this thing off right now?'"
Ford said he called his friend that evening to figure out how they could come up with the $2,000 needed. "I said, 'Man, I've got to do something for these people otherwise I won't be able to sleep.'"
"My buddy said, 'Why don’t you try one of those GoFundMe things, and then if we don’t make enough overnight we can just pay the difference?'" Ford said.
Ford said that just among his friends they raised enough money to pay off the entire car and even raised $1,000 extra, which they gave directly to the couple to help them out.
In addition, Ford said his friend paid to have the oil changed and get the car detailed. "One of my guys bought a turkey, because it's almost Thanksgiving," Ford added.
"She had no idea that we paid the car off," Ford said of Pat Kipping. "I said, 'I hope this helps out, not having a car payment.' She started crying.
"They are just great people," Ford added, saying he's surprised his random act of kindness is getting so much attention.
"Just be nice to people, it’s not that hard. The fact that this has gone so crazy is kind of sad. This should be a daily thing, a normal thing," Ford said.
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