A Man, His Son, And A Car Changes A Family

The text came a day or so ago… from a guy named Dan.

“Hi Marty. This is Dan Wallace. First want to apologize for my emotions getting away from me.”

Here’s what kills me about amazing people doing amazing things. They’re ALL humble. Dan is a family man… a business man. He was listening to my KDKA radio talk show the other day. I had Molly Welch on the air. Molly was homeless for nine months. Her husband lost his job. They lived in a van for a month and then eight months in a Salvation Army shelter. Molly’s husband Brian finally got a job and the family finally got a place of their own. They have a teenage daughter who was ridiculed at school for being the kid who gets picked up at a homeless shelter. Finally…HOPE in the Welch home.

Molly’s story on the radio sparked a flurry of help from strangers.

Dan Wallace heard the story… his son heard the story (that’s them at the very top). They decided to give the Welch family the son’s car. When Dan called with the news… he broke down… outright crying on the air. It was amazing. It was beautiful. Dan was apologetic. He just donated his son’s car to a complete stranger.. .and he’s crying and sorry!? Wow!

Dan’s text continued:

“I talked to Molly. She told me this car was going to be a game changer. My wife and I are always looking to help people when and where we can. I’m so proud of my son . He gave up his car with no hesitation. It made my heart full. Again…I apologize for breaking down. Thanks for all you do.”

Dan’s used car created a tectonic shift in Molly Welch’s family. Her husband Brian (below) wont have to take a two hour bus ride to work (he’s in the apprenticeship program at the grocery store chain Giant Eagle). Their 18-year old daughter is no longer ashamed. Her family has a new apartment. Her father has a car. He can drop her off at school.

Other strangers filled the new Welch home with new dishes and donated furniture. A waitress who got word bought the family a TV. A local handyman is dropping off a microwave. Suddenly… a family that had nothing… has everything they ever wanted. They also have a new family,” a coalition of strangers who reached into their wallets… and into their hearts and made a difference. A big difference.

Think about it. The car. The TV. The furniture. The microwave. The dishes.

A bounty of kindness. All from folks who were listening to the radio and could have kept driving down the road, but didn’t.

There’s greatness in that. In each gesture…in each act. As for Dan… I told him: Never apologize for crying. Never apologize for kindness. Never apologize for doing something great. It’s what we’re all about here at Sparkt. Let’s start something good together.

About Marty Griffin
Marty is a past recipient of three prestigious Regional Emmys for Outstanding Investigative Reporting and also won a Broadcast Achievement Award for an undercover story about Michael Irvin and the Dallas Cowboys. He was named the Best Talk Show Host in Pittsburgh in 2008 for the Pittsburgh Achievement in Radio Awards. Marty shakes things up weekdays 9 am to noon on KDKA Radio.

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