Former inmate receives free car from an anonymous donor - WNEM TV 5

Former inmate receives free car from an anonymous donor

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Kellie Johnson thanks the executive director of HopeWorks. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) Kellie Johnson thanks the executive director of HopeWorks. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
Johnson's new car donated by someone who wants to remain anonymous. (source: WMC Action News 5) Johnson's new car donated by someone who wants to remain anonymous. (source: WMC Action News 5)
Johnson dances with happiness inside her new car. (source: WMC Action News 5) Johnson dances with happiness inside her new car. (source: WMC Action News 5)
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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC) - A former inmate turned her life around with the help of HopeWorks, and now she's moving forward thanks to an anonymous donor.

WMC Action News 5 featured Kellie Johnson's story in December. She spent 22 months in jail after getting arrested for robbery.

Johnson is one of the nearly 1,000 graduates of the HopeWorks program.

"HopeWorks provides hope and a job. We're a faith based nonprofit that's been around 26 years," executive director Ron Wade said.

The program helps ex-cons develop job skills and learn what it takes to be a productive employee.

After she graduated, Johnson got a job at a phone service center but getting to work every day has been a challenge.

Johnson didn't have a car of her own. She depended on hitching rides and taking public transportation. When counselors at HopeWorks found out, they found an anonymous donor willing to give her a new ride.

"Kellie was doing terrific. The only issue was she wasn't always getting to work on time," Wade said. "With this new car, she's got that transportation problem solved. So she will continue to move up the ladder."

Johnson now says she plans to go back to school, and because of this act of generosity she wants to one day be able to give back to someone else.

"I wish I could personally thank him, but I do appreciate it," Johnson said. "I mean I can't say how much I appreciate it. I don't think I can find the words right now but thank you, that's all I can say thank you."

HopeWorks still needs cars for deserving graduates. Click here if you would like to donate to the organization, or you can call this number 901-272-3700.

"It [the donation] is a reminder to push myself every day, because if somebody is going to recognize that and be willing to help me, once I'm able to I can help somebody else like I was helped," Johnson said.

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