This story was updated July 18, 2018, at 1 p.m. with more information.
The chief executive officer of Chattanooga-based moving company Bellhops gave his SUV to one of its employees who set out to walk 20 miles to get to his job in the Birmingham area because his ride fell through.
"He's got everything he needs to be an awesome Bellhop. He needs a car," said CEO Luke Marklin.
Walter Carr, 20, who lives in Homewood, Alabama, had a vehicle that stopped working the night before his first day on the job last Saturday. So he decided to walk to Pelham, Alabama.
He started out at midnight and walked at least 14 miles before police picked him up at 4 a.m., according to CBS affiliate WIAT-TV. Police heard his story, took Carr to breakfast and then gave him a ride the rest of the way to the home of the family he was slated to help move that morning.
Marklin said the customer put up a post on Facebook, the company learned about Carr's effort and determined something had to be done.
Marklin said they set up a meeting Monday, had a coffee, and then he handed Carr the keys to the CEO's 2014 Ford Escape.
"That was the only thing holding him back," he said about the Lawson State Community College student.
Carr, when he received the keys to the SUV, appeared shocked in a video.
"Seriously?" he asked. "Wow."
Jenny Hayden Lamey, whose stuff Carr was to move, posted on Facebook that the Bellhops employee said he was from New Orleans, he and his mother lost their home in Hurricane Katrina and that's how they came to Birmingham.
Lamey and Carr hugged after the gift.
"You've changed all our lives," she told him. "You're a very special young man. God bless."
Marklin said Carr's parents had a vehicle he shared, but it wasn't reliable.
"The culture we create at Bellhops is one we'll change in this industry known for letting people down," Marklin said. "We'll do that through a lot of heart and a lot of grit. He showed it and showed it in a big way."
Fast-growing Bellhops, now in 23 cities, is an outgrowth of a college campus moving service started in the Lamp Post Group incubator in the Lovemans building in downtown Chattanooga. It contracts with trained college students who assist with small- to medium-scale moves across the country.
A team of software engineers automate the company's communications and operations from city to city to ensure a system that allows its contracted bellhops to service customers according to the company's standards.
Contact Mike Pare at email@example.com or 423-757-6318. Follow him on Twitter @MikePareTFP.