Students' hard work gets couple back on the road

Northwestern Michigan College teamed up with Goodwill Industries to surprise a couple in need of a car.

Students in the automotive department at Northwestern Michigan College have been working all semester repairing a mini-van. Wednesday, with the help of Goodwill Industries, those students gave the vehicle to a couple in need of transportation.

Susan Cavendish said she and her husband were invited to the end of the semester barbecue. She thought it was to celebrate the studentsâ?? hard work, and was shocked to find out there was more to it than that.

â??Absolutely stunned, totally,â?? said Cavendish. â??I couldn't believe anyone, that people could be so generous to us.â??

The students knew the vehicle would be donated to a family in need.

â??The students had a sense of purpose on this vehicle,â?? said Wayne Moody, NMC Automotive Department Program Coordinator. â??They were excited all semester about doing this.â??

â??It brings a good feeling to you to help somebody out,â?? said Luke Carlson, a sophomore at NMC. â??You go out and know this vehicle is for a purpose. It's not just learning, but you're taking everything you learned at NMC and you're applying it to help somebody.â??

The car will be a big help for the Cavendishes.

Susan's husband is undergoing cancer treatment and has been having to rely heavily on family members to get him to appointments.

â??So if he has to be at Munson, he'll be able to go. That will be great, without going, "how am I going to make it there this time?"â?? said Cavendish.

When it came to daily tasks and errands, the couple had to walk.

â??If I've got shopping, I've been putting it in a backpack and walking with it. It's a bit heavy,â?? said Cavendish.

The students also collected money to give to the couple to help pay for car-related expenses, like plates and registration fees.

The program director said heâ??s proud of his students and that he's thankful it's not uncommon for community members to be generous.

â??Everywhere you go, there's people and organizations that want to help. We're just one of them,â?? said Moody.

Ironically, neither Susan nor her husband has a driverâ??s license here in the states. The couple is from England. They were able to drive there, so now getting a driverâ??s license in Michigan is on top of the priority list.

Moody said heâ??d like to see the giving continue.

â??If there's a vehicle you've got that needs more work than it's worth for you, give me a call. We'll see what we can do.â??