When Lyft launched in Phoenix last fall, Michelle joined the community as a founding driver, excited about earning some extra cash to provide for her five children. What she couldn’t have imagined then was that she’d soon gain another special family — within the Lyft driver community. Michelle has a 13-year-old son, Bobby, who's a straight-A student and a star football player. His Pop Warner team was invited to the Nationals in Florida, which meant Michelle had to raise $2,000 for her son to attend. That's when she posted in the Driver Lounge, asking for creative fundraising ideas.
There was talk of car washes, corporate matching programs, and a garage sale, and then the conversation went quiet — until about a week later. Michelle's fellow driver, Meggin, posted a call to the Lounge auctioning off an Amazon gift card to the highest bidder. The total amount pledged would go to Michelle's son.
Within two hours, drivers overwhelmed Michelle with generous donations, more than $1,800 in all.
A few days later, driver Trish offered another idea. She could paint faces at a local park for donations, all of which would go straight to Bobby’s football game fund. Yet another driver, Sean Martin, chimed in with a generous offer of his professional photography equipment and time to capture the special moments from the event.
Bobby was now fully funded to go to Nationals in Florida.
In her own words:
It was an experience that I will never forget, so I can only imagine the impact that it will have on Bobby for life. Not the experience of Florida but the experience of strangers pulling together to help someone when they least expected it.
Bobby's coach asked me how did I get all of the donations and I told him the story he cried, other parents cried and I cried all over again.
We had a 40 man pillow fight in the hotel our team against another team that came from Maryland which was hilarious. We visited Clear Water beach which was the most beautiful thing I ever saw. I had an awesome time bonding with my son one on one which is hard to do when you have such a large family.
Even though Bobby's team didn't win in Florida, Michelle she still feels like she and her son came out the victors. Since she joined the Lyft driver community, Michelle has gained not only a flexible and fun way to provide for her children, but also a whole new group of people to call family.
"I will tell this story for the rest of my life," she says, "and I must say that was the best blessing a mother could ask for!"