Samuel James, a high school custodian who has been walking to work ever since his car broke down, was recently surprised with a Toyota Highlander SUV from a colleague, sparking an emotional moment that was captured on video. 

The tear-jerking gift came from Deborah Pippin, an English teacher at Citronelle High School in Alabama. While James was saving up to buy a new car after his engine gave out, Pippin was looking for someone to take a 10-year-old car off her hands. Citronelle principal Randy Campbell, who heard about James’ problem and Pippin’s goal, connected the two employees.

“I was in a conversation with Mr. and Mrs. Pippin, and was talking about some recent purchases,” Campbell told WALA. “They’d bought a couple of new vehicles, and they had this Highlander that they wanted to give to somebody and asked if I knew anybody, and I said ‘sure,’ Sam was the first one in mind.”

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