Adam Ely is the owner of Hard Luck Automotive in Mustang, Oklahoma.
When Ely, a former U.S. Army paratrooper and helicopter mechanic, heard about Candice Berry’s story, he did not hesitate to step and serve his community much as he honorably served his country.
Since leaving the service, Ely has made it his mission to repair vehicles for people who otherwise couldn’t afford repairs.
Adam, who always keeps a toolbox in his truck, drives around looking for stranded drivers who could use his help.
Candice Berry is a single mom, who recently purchased a new truck, only to discover that it had a ton of issues once she brought it home.
“The brakes need to be changed, purge valve and the speedometer is off,” Candice said, listing her truck’s issues.
Candice was aware that she could wait to fix the speedometer and the purge valve later, but she absolutely had to have the brakes repaired immediately if she wanted to be safe.
However, Candice did not have the funds for the repair and soon went into panic mode. The single mom had no idea how she would be able to pay to get her truck fixed.
The single mom could not do without her truck and needed the vehicle to get to work and take her son to and from school.
Candice visited every mechanic in town, but they all gave her estimates way beyond what she could afford to pay.
After she reportedly contacted garage after garage, Candice was able to get in touch with Adam Ely eventually.
The single mom heard of Ely’s reputation for helping people who couldn’t afford steep repair bills and decided to reach out.
To her surprise, Adam replied to her query within minutes.
When the good-hearted veteran had a chance to hear Candice’s story, he knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that he needed to help her.
”When you go to a car repair place, you’re vulnerable,” Adam said.
“The last thing you want is to be charged a $150 to have a mechanic tell you what’s wrong with your car when you already know that your car’s broken.”
He told Candice to bring the truck to his garage, and that she would only be charged for the parts themselves, and that he would do the labor for free.
However, Candice was in for another shock.
Not only did Adam fix her truck for the price of the parts, but he also set an appointment open for Candice so she could get it back much quicker.
So touched by Adam’s kindness, Candice wanted to do something kind for him in return.
But what could she do?
After thinking it over, she saw an opportunity and came up with a special surprise for the veteran mechanic.
On the day that he was supposed to fix her truck, Candice would deliver her truck and bring Adam a special surprise.
Adam had absolutely no idea when he headed to work that day that one of his clients that he was helping out had something special planned for him.
When he opened the door to welcome Candice, Adam soon realized that he’d been set up.
The mechanic was stunned to discover a tv crew waiting for him along with his family, as well as someone from a local bank.
Candice decided to nominate Adam Ely for the First Fidelity Bank Pay It Forward Award, and the Pay It Forward crew was set up and waiting for Adam to arrive.
Dawnetta Moore from First Fidelity Bank awarded Candice with $400 to Pay It Forward to Adam.
According to Moore, it’s people like Adam that makes a real difference.
“I am from this community and it just warms my heart to hear about somebody who’s helping others,” Dawnetta said.
“I was a mechanic in the military,” he said.
“I saw a need. One of the little girls that my daughter works with, her car kind of took a crap. She was a pizza delivery chick for Dominos, and my wife and I talked about it and the rest is history”.
He also talked about why he wanted to help Candice.
” I knew there was a need for that. She couldn’t afford to go to the dealership to have her car diagnosed and we took care of it,” Adam furthered.
“It was pretty awesome to see that little girl drive out of the driveway with her car fixed and to know that she didn’t need to quit her job, you know? That I got to effect some change and help someone”.
Adam not only fixed her car but took the time to teach Candice and her son Jace, some auto maintenance basics that could save them money on car repairs in the future.
I don’t know how to do things like change my oil, change my brakes, things like that. I’m excited because I can watch Adam do things, and then I’ll know what I’m doing. That’s another reason I’m excited because I need to know these things with the truck so that I can help myself in the future,” Candice said.
Referencing the award and the selfless veteran who more than earned, Candice said:
“I’m grateful to be able to give this to him. I can’t think of a better person who takes time away from his family, who takes time away from things he could be doing for himself for strangers, and I’m just grateful”.
May God bless Adam for his selfless service and Candice for her endearing gratitude.