When Jada Duke’s sixteenth birthday came around, she was very excited to see what gift her parents got for her. The car, a gray Ford Fusion, was a perfect fit. However, it didn’t come without some twists. Read on to find out what was inside the teen’s new car…
Kevin Duke was thrilled that he could buy a car for his daughter’s sixteenth birthday, and for such a good price. After test driving a Ford, they decided it was a perfect fit, but there were secrets to thisâ¦
Inside the car, the family found a secret pocket inside the glove box. It was especially strange since Kevin had double checked the car before buying it. Jada, the car’s new owner, encouraged her dad to check it out. Curious, they had to open itâ¦
A New Discovery
“Well, yesterday I’m in it tinkering around and I open this storage compartment on top of the dash (which I’ve opened a half dozen times already),” Kevin said of this discovery. “This time I notice a rubber mat in the bottom of it and for whatever reason, I pull it out.” What he found took him backâ¦
Inside the secret pocket was an envelope. On the envelope, a message to the car owner: New Car Owner, Important Info Inside”. And how very important it wasâ¦
A Mysterious Note
Inside was a letter. What that letter said would explain what was going on, and then so much more. The story was just beginningâ¦
Kevin’s hands shook as he held the letter up to read it. “This car holds a lot of special memories for me,” he read. “My home and everything in it is gone, this car is all that I had left to touch.” The note continued…
This car was a vessel of memories that were bitter now. “My family filled this car with lots of love and other sticky things,” she wrote. But the story behind her family was what caught Kevin’s eyeâ¦
Leaving It Behind
The next line of the letter read, “the last time my mom drove this car was the day she left us.” Very ominous, and there was still more to comeâ¦
It turns out, the woman who owned the car had lost her family in a tragic fire. The accident took the lives of her mother, her aunt and 6-year-old daughter, Jensyn. And if that wasn’t bad enough, things got even worseâ¦
Sabrina buried her three closest relatives on the same day. It was terrible to see, and the community wasn’t going to let Sabrina suffer alone. They decided to do something about it…
Little Jensyn’s former elementary held a charity event in the child’s honor. The event also wanted to raise awareness about having working smoke detectors. The event raised $700, but it wouldn’t be enoughâ¦
Tragedy hit Sabrina’s life, but the blows kept coming. She had three funerals to pay for, and because of that, she had to make some cutsâ¦
The car that once held so many cherished memories had to be sold. “It’s very upsetting that I have lost my family, my home and now I’m losing this last link I have with my mom and child through no fault of my own,” Sabrina wrote.
After some thought, she finally sold the car which would later become Jada’s. Inside, she was sure to include a note. But the story had only just begun because she had very special requestâ¦
“The very first day mom got this car, we all rode around and Dr. Hook’s ‘Sylvia’s Mother’ came in the radio,” Sabrina wrote. “The name kind of just stuck when my daughter said that’s what we should name the car. So please don’t change her name.”
No Name Change!
An easy task, the family agreed to keep Sylvia’s name. But she had a few more requests for the car’s new owners.
Sing Like No One Is Listening
She also wanted to make sure that the car still played music people enjoyed, the way it did for her and her family. The car even had a song request!
“Play it a country song. Big Green Tractor was my daughter’s favorite song ever or some Lynyrd Skynyrd ‘Free Bird.” At the end though, it was more about the happy memories the teenager would make in the car. But the note continued…
“I’m not mad at you. I hope this car is the best car you’ve ever owned,” Sabrina wrote. “Hope it runs for 100 more years. I hope the backseat is filled with kids and toys and random things.” She had one more ideaâ¦
She requested that, should the opportunity ever present itself, she’d like to buy Sylvia back. “I can’t afford to buy it right now, but hopefully, I’ll be in a better financial situation if you decide later that she’s just not right for you anymore.” Kevin had a choice to makeâ¦
Jada Gives Back
Well, Sylvia was now Jada’s, and it was her decision about what to do with the new information from the letter. Without hesitation, Jada knew what she had to do, but how?
Missing Contact Info
They didn’t have any way of contacting Sabrina. She left no number or email address, just a last name and a wish for the future. They’d have to get creativeâ¦
"I bought my daughter, Jada, a used car a couple weeks ago. Since she doesn't turn 16 until March, I'm driving it to see…Posted by Love What Matters on Friday, February 3, 2017
Kevin decided to take to Facebook to answer his questions. Posting pictures of the full letter, he hoped others would be moved by the letter like he was, and would reach out. It workedâ¦
Tammi Warrington saw the Facebook post and knew she had to help. She didn’t know Sabrina, but she knew how to find her. After some research about the fire, she figured it outâ¦
Ending the Search
Well, turns out she didn’t need to. Tammi got in touch with Kevin, only to learn that Kevin found Sabrina himself! They also determined they wanted to help her, but how?
She’d need about $12,000 to replace the car, pay the taxes, and be reunited with Sabrina. But the money wouldn’t come from just anywhere. It was time to get creativeâ¦
Raising the Money
They started a fundraiser. After a few days, they raised over $3,500. It was a lot, but it wasn’t enough. That’s when a big player stepped in to help outâ¦
TV Steps In
An Australian TV show called “This is Life Live” asked if they could document Sabrina on the show, and compensate her for it. She’d finally earn enough money to get her precious car back!
Even better, Jada also got a new car from another fundraiser her dad set up. She wouldn’t have to feel guilty for keeping the car that meant so much to Sabrina but also didn’t sacrifice her sweet sixteen birthday gift. It was a win-win for everyone!
A Final Goodbye
As they handed over the keys to Sabrina’s old/new ride, the crew decided to go for one final ride, all together. Jada got her own Ford Fusion. But what did she name the car?
Easy. Sylvia 2.