No one likes to have to spend too much time on the commute to work. You often end up spending the journey feeling anxious about the day ahead, perhaps you have an important meeting, or some strict deadlines to meet. All things considered, the shorter the commute, the better.
Unfortunately for Jalesya Corbett, she took a job which meant that she had to walk 12 miles every day to get to work. While this, undeniably, brought with it challenges, one chance encounter along the way would end up changing Jalesya’s life.
On a morning like any other, Jalesya was on her way to work, walking on the shoulder of one of the busier roads in town. This was definitely one of the more unpleasant work commutes that she had endured thus far.
Seeing as she set out in the early hours of the morning, usually around 3am, it tended to be dark during her walk. On this particular day, it was pouring with rain. While Jaleysa was carrying an umbrella, it wasn’t doing much to protect her. She was beginning to feel a little uneasy, and then she noticed some headlights. She turned around to see a car pulling up beside her.
NO ONE AROUND
Corbett always kept her wits about her during her commute. She was conscious that she was completely alone, so she had to be alert. As the car approached her, she anxiously looked around her to see if there was anyone else in the vicinity. There was no one in sight, apart from this mysterious car.
She began to feel very frightened. She hoped that perhaps the car had slowed down in order to avoid splashing her with water, but this wasn’t the case. As the car positioned itself next to her, she quickly reached for her phone. She could not see who was inside the car. Little did she know, the driver inside this car was about to change her life forever.
A POLICE OFFICER
The heavy downpour of rain meant that visibility was low and it was therefore difficult to make out who it was in the car. However, as the car came more into focus, Corbett realised that the vehicle was a police car. She couldn’t understand this, since she hadn’t done anything wrong.
It transpired that this police officer, Sgt. Scott Bass, had seen Corbett many times during her commute to work. He had decided that enough was enough, and took it upon himself to intervene. Little did he know, his actions would end up changing Corbett’s life.
While this morning’s trek was particularly miserable, it was nothing Corbett couldn’t handle. She had experienced walking in all weathers. Every morning, she would walk six miles to work, put in a shift at her local Bojangles and biscuits restaurant, and then walk those same six miles back home.
In an interview, she explained how she ended up in this position: “I applied to several Bojangles’, and the farthest one from my house called me first, so I said ‘Ok, I’ll work at this one and I’ll walk since I had no other way to get out there.”
WALKING WHATEVER THE WEATHER
Corbett’s only option was to walk, in order to get to work, even if that meant walking during a storm. Her work was very important to her, it gave her purpose, and she wasn’t going to let bad weather get in the way of that. She explained in an interview: “I still walk. How else am I supposed to pay the bills?”
Corbett knew that she could not ignore the policeman driving alongside her. She racked her brains, trying to think of anything she might have done or be doing that would be considered illegal, or would attract a police officer’s attention. She couldn’t think of anything. There was only one thing for it, she would have to approach the police car and ask the officer what the problem was.
A LIFT FROM A STRANGER
Corbett walked over to the policeman and he rolled down his window. “Can I help you, Officer?” she asked. Sgt. Bass smiled back at her and she immediately felt at ease. His heart had obviously gone out to her, as she trudged through the rain, shivering as she went. He kindly offered to drive her the rest of the way.
“I said, ‘Yeah, I could use a ride,” Corbett later said in an interview. She was glad to get some shelter from the relentless rain, even if that meant a potentially awkward journey with a man she did not know. Nervously, she stepped inside the car and shut the door. This moment would end up making national headlines.
Corbett had worked at Bojangles for months now, and done this commute countless times. Not once had someone offered to give her a lift to work. She was glad that she had some time to dry off before starting her shift.
Neither party spoke during the car journey, Sgt. Bass didn’t even ask Corbett where she worked. During the silence, Corbett’s mind began to wander. She was very aware of the fact that she had just got into a car with a strange man in the middle of the night. While it gave her some comfort to know that he was a police officer, she couldn’t help thinking that this could end up being like something out of a horror film, especially in the context of a storm.
THE OFFICER’S EXPLANATION
A few months later, during an interview with Sgt. Bass, he explained what had prompted him to offer this woman a lift: “I was getting near the end of my shift, and I saw her leave the city side, going into the county side of town,” he began.
“She had her work uniform on, and it was raining, it was cold, so I stopped to check on her and she told me she was going into work, and I offered her a ride because she had quite a few miles left to go,” he said. This was only the beginning of this pair’s story.
A KIND OFFER
A commute that ordinarily took Corbett two hours ended up lasting just a few minutes. As the car pulled up at the Bojangles restaurant, Corbett turned to Sgt. Bass and thanked him again for the ride. However, Sgt. Bass wasn’t satisfied that he had done enough to help this woman that he had just met.
Though he didn’t owe her anything and it wasn’t in his job description, Sgt. Bass couldn’t help but offer to give her a lift more regularly, especially when the weather was as awful as it was. Corbett couldn’t believe how kind this stranger was being. Though she felt it was a bit much for him to go to all that trouble for her, she did eventually accept the offer. As it turned out, however, Sgt. Bass would not need to give her a ride for much longer.
GOING ABOVE AND BEYOND
Sgt. Bass continued to give rides to Corbett on rainy or cold mornings for a year after they first met. The rides started to become a bit of a tradition. Sgt. Bass would sometimes even show up completely unannounced on clear and warm days.
Occasionally, there would be days where Sgt. Bass was unable to make it to Corbett’s home. On these days, he would ask other officers on the force if they were free to do the honours. Over the course of the year, the pair became increasingly close. However, as time went on, Sgt. Bass began to have second thoughts.
Corbett felt that Sgt. Bass had gone over and above to help her out. However, to Sgt. Bass’ mind, he hadn’t done nearly enough. “She walks two hours to work and then she’s gotta stand up for 8 hours,” he said. “I know what it’s like to have to work that hard.”
As the days progressed, he said “It just kind of really weighed on me and bothered me, and every day that I gave her a ride I just, for some reason, would talk to my wife about her,” he said. He would explain to his wife that he didn’t feel that he was doing enough to help his new friend, so he came up with a plan.
Sgt. Boss decided to go that extra mile. “I wanted to do something more for her,” he said. “So that next day, I called Walmart, which was in the area, and asked them if they could work with me.” He wanted to give Corbett “a bicycle to help turn a 2 hour walk into a 30 minute ride.”
When Sgt. Bass explained the story to the manager of the local Walmart, he was touched by the story and Bass’ gesture. As a result, the store gave him a free beach cruiser bicycle to give to Corbett. Sgt. Bass immediately went to deliver it to his new friend. Corbett’s reaction wouldn’t be the most surprising one he would receive…
When Sgt. Bass pitched up at Corbett’s house with the brand new bike, she was completely speechless. “I was shocked,” she said in an interview. “I didn’t think it was real.” This incredible gift was about to make her life a lot easier.
Above is a picture of the happy pair that was taken just after Sgt. Bass presented Corbett with the bicycle. When Sgt. Boss returned to work and showed the picture to his team, his bosses decided to post it online. The caption read: “We are so proud of Sargeant Scott Bass and his selfless service he provides on a daily basis,” the Facebook post said. What happened next came as a surprise to everyone involved.
A POPULAR STORY
In a world of negative news, when people get wind of a story like this, they tend to embrace it. This is exactly what happened when Nash County Sheriff Office shared it on their Facebook page. It wasn’t long before everyone was talking about it.
The post accumulated thousands of comments and likes. Even people living far from Nash County began to share the post with their friends. Everyone seemed to be talking about this incredible story. This was nothing compared with what would follow…
Over the next few days, the post gained more and more traction. The story was being shared online and its reach was growing exponentially. This continued until the story had been seen by people all over the country.
Local news channels even began contacting Sgt. Bass and Corbett, asking them to take part in interviews. They accepted. They were more than happy to share their unlikely story with whoever wanted to hear it. Soon, an unexpected phone call would leave them both in complete shock.
It transpired that a casting agent for the well-known talk show, The Steve Harvey Show, had heard their story on the grapevine. The casting agent in question showed the local interviews to Steve Harvey himself, who decided to reach out to them and see if they wanted to feature in an upcoming episode.
Both Corbett and Sgt. Bass jumped at the opportunity to appear on national television. They had mixed feelings towards going to Chicago, where it would take place. They were full of excitement, but also a little nervous, as you would be. When Corbett informed her work that she needed to take some time off in order to go to Chicago, they did something she never expected.
Corbett’s story had already been heard by all of her colleagues at the restaurant she worked at, Bojangles, by the time the pair were due to appear on local news stations. As the story continued to gain attention across the country, even some of the executives, high up in the restaurant chain, began to take notice.
While everyone knew that the story was getting big, they did not realise quite how big, until the pair’s appearance on Steve Harvey’s television show. As a result, the company decided, not only to offer her a raise, but also to relocate her to a branch closer to home. This was only the beginning…
AN EMOTIONAL CHAT
On the day that the show was filmed, Corbett and Sgt. Bass shared their heart-warming story, in front of the studio cameras, with one of the most famous faces in talk show history. As the show came to an end, Harvey addressed Corbett directly.
“We know that you work hard, and we know that you deserve a little extra help,” Harvey said. “On behalf of the show, we are going to be giving you $5,000.” Upon hearing this, Corbett’s eyes, unsurprisingly, began to visibly tear up. Harvey continued: “But that’s not all.”
The experience of appearing on Steve Harvey’s show would have been more than enough for Corbett, but the gifts didn’t stop coming. At stage left, a retractable wall began to open. When Corbett saw what was behind this wall, she opened her mouth and began to cry.
A brand new 2018 Ford Fiesta, complete with a gigantic bow on the front of it, was revealed. Corbett’s days of waking up at 3AM and venturing out into the darkness to begin her work commute, were behind her. This gift had completely changed her life.
AN INSPIRING STORY
Before going over to the car to take a closer look, Corbett reached over to her new friend, Sgt. Bass to give him a huge hug. Everything she was experiencing in this moment would not have been possible if this local Police officer hadn’t offered her a lift, out of the kindness of his heart, on that rainy morning.
On that day, a year and a half previously, Sgt. Bass had selflessly taken time out of his busy day in order to help Corbett out. Sgt. Bass was overwhelmed, sitting on the stage of a national television show, reflecting on just how far his simple act of kindness had gone. He hoped that this would be a source of inspiration for people to help out their neighbour’s.