Jim Pearson Elementary School custodian Kinnie Morris has new wheels and plenty of space to drive his grandchildren in a car donated to him by the community.
Morris was surprised Thursday with a 2015 Dodge Journey Crossroad outside the school while students cheered him on to music.
“I love it,” Morris said. “My grandson (here) loves it, so that’s it.”
The community raised more than $9,600 on GoFundMe in July for Morris after Jim Pearson teachers heard him talk about problems he was having with his 1997 Buick Park Avenue.
Morris has worked at the school for 24 years and was surprised with the news of a car in July. Teachers Ellen Price and Katie Dark had multiple dealerships reach out to them and prepared getting a car for him during the last month.
Morris was working and was confused why he was called out to the front of the school Thursday.
“I was down there cleaning up and stuff — and I still don’t know what’s going on — and then when I came out to the celebration then I knew,” Morris said. “It’s just a wonderful day.”
Bice Motors donated the car and made up the difference of the money to get Morris a long-lasting vehicle. The vehicle has a retail value of $15,000.
“I’ve got twin kids in fifth grade now but they went to school here, so I’ve known Kinnie since they were in school and he was a big impact on them and is a great leader for the school,” Bice Motors owner Brian Bice said.
When Bice heard about the community raising money for Morris’ car, he wanted to help out.
Bice said he chose the Dodge Journey Crossroad since Morris can have more room to transport his grandchildren and because it has newer technology.
“It’s great to see the community pull together and support someone so deserving and needing,” Bice said.