A South Carolina mechanic who fixes old vehicles and gives them to people in need of a ride recently made it into the news.
However, the response to the CBS News story was overwhelming and citizens have since offered to donate approximately 800 cars to his mission, the outlet reported Thursday.
“My phone started exploding from all over the place,” mechanic Eliot Middleton said. “Whatever glowing feeling is inside me, it just transferred from that TV screen and went inside them,” he added and described the massive response as “soul-soothing.”
In a social media post on Thursday, CBS News anchor Norah O’Donnell thanked viewers for their generosity and said “nearly 800 used cars are on their way to Eliot Middleton’s lot, where he fixes and then donates them to people in need”:
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you ❤️
Thanks to the generosity of our @CBSEveningNews viewers, nearly 800 used cars are on their way to Eliot Middleton’s lot, where he fixes and then donates them to people in need! pic.twitter.com/Ym6UKib2N4
— Norah O'Donnell 🇺🇸 (@NorahODonnell) July 15, 2021
CBS initially reported that Middleton’s yard is full of used cars he works on to help the residents of South Carolina’s low country.
“There’s no public transportation,” Middleton told the outlet in June. “There’s no Ubers, there’s no taxis or nothing like that.”
Some of the recipients are single mothers, job seekers, and elderly people with doctor’s appointments. During Christmas, he gifted a 2004 Suzuki to a single mom named Jessica Litchfield, who said his work was a “lifesaver.”
“Some folks don’t believe it,” Middleton explained. “It’s like, ‘No, that’s not my car.'”
On the Middleton’s Village to Village Foundation page, the mechanic shared a photo of himself Thursday with a friend and cars on a trailer:
🗣CBS EVENING NEWS FOLLOW UP @ 6:30! Please watch!!! We will follow up with a live video shortly after the broadcast! #ItTakesAVillage ❤️
When asked if it made him feel good to help other people, Middleton replied, “It’s beyond anything in this world.”
His sister has been helping organize the massive response to his generous actions, which also included over $100,000 in cash donations.
When Dad died, I think my little sister took it the hardest of us all.. she still does. I told her then and I mean it…
Middleton said “never in this lifetime” could he have imagined such a huge response to his work.
As of Friday afternoon, a GoFundMe page created to help continue his mission has raised $127,351 of its $150,000 goal.