FOLSOM, Calif. — After learning about his younger coworker's financial struggles, a Folsom resident took it upon himself to start a GoFundMe in hopes of buying him a car.
Matthew Trefry works for the California State Parks where he oversees the Folsom Lake Junior Lifeguard Program. He recently learned that one of his coworkers was struggling financially.
"He's a great kid, so I just wanted to do something to help him in any way I could," Trefry told ABC10.
Trefry said his coworker is a senior in high school who is preparing to graduate in a few short weeks.
"He's been able to maintain a 4.3 GPA while working two jobs and finishing his AP tests," Trefry said. "After graduation, he plans on going to UC Santa Barbara where he will be studying psychology and neuroscience."
However, Trefry said the missing piece was a car to get him to and from school and both of his jobs.
Trefry decided to post on a Folsom community Facebook page to see if anyone had an older car they were willing to sell for cheap. Someone commented on Trefry's post suggesting that he start a GoFundMe to raise money.
“I took their advice, posted the GoFundMe, and it immediately took off,” Trefry said. “I had people offering used cars, sending me links to cars, messaging me and donating to the GoFundMe.”
As of Wednesday, Trefry said they had raised just over $3,000 on the GoFundMe. Trefry's coworker, who wished to remain anonymous, was shocked when Matt told him the Folsom community had donated enough money to help buy him a car.
“When Matt told me people were donating money to help buy me a car, my initial reaction was no way, there’s no way people are donating money to someone they don’t even know,” Trefry's coworker told ABC10.
Last week, Trefry was finally able to buy his coworker a 1991 Ford Ranger.
“The next morning, he was finally able to drive himself to school and texted me saying that it was the best feeling he had ever felt before,” Trefry said. “That moment meant everything to me and the fact that the whole community helped to make that feeling happen for him made it even more special.”
Trefry's coworker said having his own car allows him to drive to school and both of his jobs without relying on other people for rides.
"I just felt so relieved being able to drive to school for the first time in my own car," Trefry's coworker said. "Now, I can finally move on to the next step in my life and live a more fulfilling life because I have more options available to me."
Trefry said in his years being on the Folsom community Facebook page, he has never seen the community come together so quickly to help someone in need.
“I just want to say thank you to everyone that helped out, shared the GoFundMe post, and donated to it,” Trefry said.
Trefry's coworker is extremely grateful for the Folsom community coming together, donating enough money for him to buy a car.
"I just do not know how to articulate how much I appreciate the Folsom community coming together and donating this money," Trefry's coworker said.
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