A woman who arrived in Minnesota with only a backpack and $200 got a huge surprise recently from her community.
“Navy veteran Sierra was on her last leg when the community she now lives in came together to give her the gift of a new car,” WCCO reported Wednesday.
Joe and Jake Mauer of Mauer Main Chevrolet in Anoka gave Sierra the keys and Executive Sales Manager Jeremy McFarland helped organize the gift, knowing it would make a huge difference.
“Because at Mauer Chevrolet, Mauer Main, Mauer auto group, the whole Mauer organization, it’s more than cars,” McFarland explained.
Video footage of the surprise showed Sierra walking out of the American Legion in Anoka where the car and a big crowd awaited her in the parking lot.
“This is real, absolutely,” a person at the reveal said to her.
Once Sierra sat down in the driver’s seat, she told everyone there “You guys just gave me a lot of hope. Like, this was the last time I was gonna reach out for help because I was so tired. But you guys gave me hope, thank you.”
The veteran said it is the love and support she receives from the community that keeps her going in life.
Sierra is a resident at Haven for Heroes, an Anoka County and city program that houses veterans and offers an opportunity for a better life.
Minnesota state Sen. Jim Abeler praised the dealership and its neighbors for their kindness, adding, “this is just one example of people digging deep and deciding that veterans are important.”
The car will help Sierra make it to job interviews. She hopes to find work in corrections or as an EMT, positions she held while serving in the military.
“We’re a part of this community and when there is a moment where we can step in and help like we did today, we want to do that,” Joe Mauer commented.