Andalusia

Imagine: you’re a hard working couple who can’t seem to make ends meet. Times get hard. Money runs out. So does good fortune. The lights get shut off. And just when things can’t get worse, they do. Your car breaks down and becomes a steaming pile of horse fertilizer.

The downtown is decorated for Christmas. There are red ribbons, wreaths on doors, there’s a big tree on the square.

This is a small town. If you were to get a running start, you could toss a football from one side to the other.

Meet Christy.

She’s a phlebotomist at the doctor’s office. She handles needles, blood, patients. She’s your quintessential small-town girl. Pretty. Smart. Never met a stranger.

She has three teenagers. She loves sports. She is a Florida Gators fan—bless her heart.

Not long ago, Christy met a woman, walking on the side of the road.

She stopped the car. She gave her a ride.

The woman was down on her luck. She told Christy about herself. It was the same sad story you’ve probably heard before.

Imagine: you’re a hard working couple who can’t seem to make ends meet. Times get hard. Money runs out. So does good fortune.

The lights get shut off. And just when things can’t get worse, they do. Your car breaks down and becomes a steaming pile of horse fertilizer.

Your two-year-old and newborn are hungry. Food gets expensive. You’re doing everything you can to keep your family from losing weight.

It was almost too much for Christy to hear.

The woman said her husband had been walking to work ever since the car broke down.

The woman had been scraping pennies together to buy dried goods from the Dollar General store.

Christy had heard enough.

She called her friend, Brandi. Together they decided to do something. Christy posted a plea for help online. Her request was straightforward:

“If anyone has any suggestions, contact me…”

Did they ever.

The offers started flooding in after a few minutes. Her phone nearly exploded. People offered rides, groceries, gifts, diapers, toys, baskets, clothes.

And, even though I can’t be certain, I’d bet my life that there were at least a few foil-covered casseroles donated by sweet old ladies with double first names.

Maybe even a poundcake or two.

And money. Some gave a few bucks. Some gave hundreds. And it kept coming. Checks, Visa giftcards, Walmart giftcards, cash.

And it wasn’t just dollars and cents. It was “Can I give you a ride somewhere?” Or, “Do you need help with your kids?” Or “I’m here whenever you need me.”

People who didn’t have things to donate, donated anyway.

It took two days.

Two days to help a working-class family catch up on bills. Two days to make sure they can pay rent.

Two days to earn enough to buy a decent car. Two days to pay tags and registration. Two days to gather enough donations for six months of auto insurance. Two days to make sure the woman’s kids get a decent Christmas.

Two damn days.

Christy thanked folks for contributions by saying, “Thank you for reaching into your pockets and giving to someone you don’t know. You have blessed me…”

Well, if you ask me, she got it all wrong. The blessing wasn’t Walmart gift cards, a new vehicle, gift baskets, or covered casserole dishes.

It was a young mother who stopped the car and offered a ride to a stranger.

God bless Christy Turner.

And may God bless the people of Andalusia, Alabama.

44 comments

  1. Brian Heinz - December 16, 2017 8:11 am

    Makes you count your blessings when you think of how things are with you. ♥

    Reply
  2. Sandi in FL - December 16, 2017 8:12 am

    I love reading good stories like this one, especially at Christmas. There are many good people in this world,eager to help those less fortunate and in need of basic necessities. God bless Christy for being a prime example.

    Reply
  3. Cecile Bergeron - December 16, 2017 8:16 am

    Love all your stories, but this one is special.Merry Christmas

    Reply
  4. Connie - December 16, 2017 9:53 am

    That’s the thing about small towns. For the most part, they are made up of great people with huge hearts. Merry Christmas Christy and to the family they helped. Sometimes, everyone needs a hand up.

    Reply
  5. John Lange - December 16, 2017 10:57 am

    God bless you and Merry Christmas, Christy. Just be careful picking up folks when you get around a big city.

    Reply
  6. Debi Kilpatrick - December 16, 2017 11:29 am

    Oh, Sean. Florala. On Beautiful Lake Jackson. Not to be confused with Frank Jackson Lake in Opp. Just 21 miles south of Andalusia. First Saturday in February. All day. Cancer Freeze. Please, please come and just stroll around. You will not leave unchanged. Please come to our small town on this day or any day. 😎❤️✌🏽️

    Reply
  7. Jo - December 16, 2017 11:40 am

    A true Christmas story. Thank you Christy for stopping and helping and changing a family’s fortune.

    Reply
  8. Betty Odom - December 16, 2017 11:59 am

    In the quiet of early morning I am reminded of our command: to love thy neighbor.. if we would just reach out to others..

    Reply
  9. Charlie Leuenberger - December 16, 2017 12:24 pm

    Awesome story. We need more stories like this one for sure.

    Reply
  10. Debra Wallace - December 16, 2017 12:31 pm

    Christy Turner is a blessing to many. She sees a need she gets on it. God blessed her with organization skills and she uses them. I am blessed to lnow her. Thanks Sean for your story and thanks Christy for all you do!!

    Reply
  11. teachenglish67 - December 16, 2017 12:39 pm

    It takes only one to light a candle, and with that act the light of the candle spreads.
    Thank you, Sean, Christy Turner, the people of Andulsia, Alabama, and the woman walking on the side of the road who allowed Christy to give you a ride. Without that happening, we who have read Sean’s account, would not be knowing there are more kind and generous people to learn about.

    Reply
  12. Shannon Pass Brown - December 16, 2017 12:53 pm

    I grew up in Andalusia and this story doesn’t surprise me a bit. Thanks for highlighting my hometown. ❤️

    Reply
  13. Jo Ann - December 16, 2017 12:59 pm

    May God bless you, Sean, for bringing to our attention the good surrounding us.

    Reply
  14. Fonda N Wayne Turnmire - December 16, 2017 1:11 pm

    Yes. God bless Christy

    Reply
  15. Donna - December 16, 2017 1:26 pm

    The Spirit of Christmas….God bless Christy!

    Reply
  16. Marcella Messer - December 16, 2017 2:26 pm

    Thank you for writing about our precious friend and how she helped bless this young family and blessed all of us. We were able to share the real meaning of Christmas because of her.

    Reply
  17. mimifran - December 16, 2017 2:45 pm

    Just stop it Sean! You make me cry every morning, sometimes slobber……….and I love it! Thank you for your heartfelt stories of goodness, caring and people loving people!!

    Reply
  18. Tabitha sasser - December 16, 2017 3:07 pm

    Christy is my sister and I am truly blessed to call her that. She has the biggest heart and I am so thankful she came across this lady. Thank you for this story and for all of your sweet comments. I think our children nowadays need to witness more of this kind of giving so they understand (1) the true meaning of Christmas (2) they can be more grateful for what they have. Again thank you for this and may God Bless You all! MERRY CHRISTMAS 🎄🎁

    Reply
    • Janet Mary Lee - December 17, 2017 7:16 pm

      Bless your family for seeing the need and helping. Christy is indeed special to help in such a wonderful way. We can not help everyone, but we can help who is next to us, one person at a time.- Mother Teresa.

      And look what happens!

      Bless you Sean, for being a voice!

      Reply
  19. Marla Brewer - December 16, 2017 3:28 pm

    Answering these calls for help that God sends our way is our real reason for living! Thank you Sean for pointing out the brighter side of life.

    Reply
  20. Jack Darnell - December 16, 2017 3:41 pm

    I’m not sure they give Pulitzer prizes for good reporting, or good stories, but they should and Sean should be at the top of the list.
    I enjoyed this story. I might have to read less, because the more I read the more I give. Our waitress the other night enjoyed the generous tip. SWEET And the couple who prayed over their food got a free meal!

    Reply
  21. Dianne - December 16, 2017 4:14 pm

    This is just another example from Sean of the extreme goodness of people that can still be found everywhere.

    Reply
  22. Linda H - December 16, 2017 4:52 pm

    I believe that Christy met one of God’s “angels” … or messengers. I think those messengers from God are present in our lives every single day. We just need to slow down, listen and look to see them. God bless you Christy for your generosity of spirit. Merry Christmas.

    Reply
  23. Emily - December 16, 2017 4:54 pm

    A wonderful act of kindness Christy and you are a Good Samaritan. Often we are to hurried or think of our own needs before we think of the things that others need or stop to give someone a ride because we are judgemental or we fear what could happen. Thanks for taking the time to ask others to lend a helping hand for someone in need. The rewards are Awesome!!!!

    Reply
  24. Yvonne Bradeen - December 16, 2017 4:59 pm

    My family is from near Andalusia-
    I believe every word of the story.

    Reply
  25. Gretchen Passons - December 16, 2017 5:19 pm

    What a happy start to the day! Thank you, Sean of the South!

    Reply
  26. Sandy - December 16, 2017 5:52 pm

    It proves that people want to help those less fortunate. We all think to ourselves “there but for the grace of God go I”. Keep telling us about the angels among us. Thank you Sean.

    Reply
  27. Bob Hubbard - December 16, 2017 6:28 pm

    This old Alabama boy – stuck forever in Georgia – reads and appreciates and files every memo you write. It’s a pleasure to think about some of those small Alabama towns, and the equally marvelous folks who live there.

    I don’t get back to Weaver, Anniston, Saks And Oxford often enough. Keep reminding those of us in voluntary exile where home is, and what home is all about.

    Reply
  28. Barbara Jones - December 16, 2017 6:46 pm

    I lived in Andalusia for 12years best place I ever lived in

    Reply
  29. Judy - December 16, 2017 6:50 pm

    Amen.

    Reply
  30. Marty from Alabama - December 16, 2017 7:25 pm

    Yes, God bless Christy Turner in Andalusia. Also bless all the other Christys in all those little southern towns that can’t bear to see hurting folks that luck just forgot. Don’t know what it is about these kind of people. Guess it’s just blame old good southern raisin’. Yeah, I know it should have been “southern rearing,” but in my part of Alabama we were raised up to show respect to all of God’s children.

    Reply
  31. Sylvia - December 16, 2017 7:54 pm

    God bless Christy and all those who came to the rescue of that family! They took the greatest commandment seriously.

    Reply
  32. Gary - December 16, 2017 9:11 pm

    Good story, people are basically good, especially in small towns !

    Reply
  33. Gloria Wethington - December 16, 2017 9:33 pm

    You got that right, Sean! The blessing not the “things” but the young mother! And you too for sharing the story!

    Reply
  34. Dotti - December 16, 2017 10:53 pm

    Amen! Just when I start believing the world is angry with everyone, I read about Christy. I know that there are good people in small towns and big ones,too. Here’s to all the good heart in all the ones out there. You have made my day.

    Reply
  35. Marion Pitts - December 17, 2017 3:27 am

    Super GOOSEBUMPS! Wonderful story! Wonderful people! Living in a small town is WONDERFUL! Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
  36. Nancy - December 17, 2017 2:00 pm

    That is the true meaning of Christmas and beautifully stated.

    Reply
  37. Steven Porter - December 17, 2017 2:27 pm

    #goodstuff

    Reply
  38. Sandra Marrar - December 17, 2017 3:37 pm

    Amen!

    Reply
  39. Janette - December 17, 2017 6:12 pm

    When you think the whole world is mean and crazy….I read this with tears in my eyes and know there are still great people out there. Thank you for sharing these stories of people helping people❤️

    Reply
  40. unkle kenny - December 18, 2017 2:21 am

    great story. well done sir uk

    Reply
  41. Vanessa Brazzell - December 18, 2017 3:28 am

    Nice story..Andalusia🙋🙋🙋🙋🙋

    Reply
  42. Marsha - December 20, 2017 12:56 am

    World needs more of this and a whole lot less of Hollywood

    Reply
  43. Patricia Gibson - December 23, 2017 3:12 am

    I need your stories! Merry Christmas!

    Reply

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