How One Letter Found In His Daughter’s New Car Made A Dad Regret The Purchase
Kevin Duke was a proud father of a girl who just turned 16. Like any other father, he wanted to do something special and to celebrate the occasion, he wanted to give his daughter her very first car. Of course, once he got the car he wanted to make sure that it was in perfect condition. However, nothing could prepare him for what he found.
While checking the car for safety and cleaning it out, Duke made a discovery that made his heart stop. Duke found that he just bought for his daughter more than just a car. Moreover, that finding was powerful enough to even make him reconsider keeping it.
20. Just Another Sweet Sixteen
Being 16-years-old is a serious thing. You get to have a drivers license and have your car. Therefore, many kids often receive a car for their 16th birthday. Jada Duke was no exception.
A few weeks before Jada turned 16, her father Kevin bought her a used car. He bought it in front because he wanted to be sure that the car is safe for her to drive. Then he found something unexpected.
19. The Perfect Car
Jada turned 16 in March 2015. Her father started searching for the car in January 2015. He didn’t look for long. A customer of his told him about a car that was for sale.
The car in question was a used silver Ford Fusion. According to his customer, it just needed a little maintenance. So, Kevin took the car for a test drive.
18. It Needs Just A Little Maintenance
The car was well-saved and it looked like it was used for a while. However, the brakes squeaked a little bit, but all in it was a good car. Kevin was sure that the car is safe for his child.
Kevin went again to inspect the entire car. He wanted to double-check is everything was fine. Then, in the top glove compartment, he found something that he overlooked. He was shocked.
17. Hi, New Car Owner
Kevin opened the top dash compartment for, what he believed, was the sixth time. But, during his last check, he noticed that the cover on the bottom was removable. He believed it might be the dirt, so he popped the cover loose.
This is when Kevin saw the corner of the envelope. Of course, he opened the envelope. Soon after, according to Kevin, he started crying like a baby.
16. Important Info Inside
The envelope was white and was addressed to ‘New Car Owner’ and also noted ‘Important Info Inside’. Kevin’s first idea? It might detail any maintenance concerns he should have about the car. How far he was from the truth.
The envelope contained a hand-written later that turned out to reveal the car’s past. As soon as he started reading the letter, he couldn’t believe what he was reading.
15. This Ford Fusion Was A Very Special Car
“This car holds a lot of special memories for me. My home and everything in it is gone, this car is all that I had left to touch,” the letter read. Kevin was sure that the person just really liked the car. But as he continued reading…
As Duke continued to read the letter, he got a real glimpse into the life that his daughter’s car had before he bought it. The car had a difficult past, and it even had a name.
14. There Were Many Adventures
The car was so loved. The letter stated: ‘My family filled this car with lots of love and other sticky things. We took two road trips, blasted the ’80s and country music and rolled the windows down.’
Kevin could easily see how much love was there. Also, in reading the letter, Duke came to learn why the car was no longer with the person who loved it so much.
13. The Car Came With A Few Twists
The person who wrote the letter did take a moment or two to mention some bumps that came with the car. The letter said: ‘The dent on the rear driver’s side fender and the dent in the passenger side door are where my daughter learned to ride… and crash… her bike’.
Kevin knew how challenging and interesting is teaching your children to ride a bike. Therefore, he had no issue with the dents on the car.
12. Her Name Was Sylvia
The car had a name: Sylvia. It was named after the song. ‘We all rode around and we all rode around and Dr. Hook’s ‘Sylvia’s Mother’ came on the radio. My daughter said that’s what we should name the car’, the letter said. So, Sylvia, it was.
The person in the letter also asked not to change the car’s name if possible. Kevin was about to learn about the tragedy that brought the car into his hands.
11. The Owner Was Dead
Duke learned that the car belonged to women who passed away February 25, 2015, in a house fire along with a 6-year-old girl and the other women. The owner of the car was the mom of the person who wrote the letter. Her mom died with her daughter and her aunt.
Kevin was devastated once he read what happened. He was unsure on one thing – if the car had so many memories, why it was given up?
10. The Woman Who Wrote The Letter
The women who wrote the letter was Sabrina Archey. When her family home burst into flames with her mom, daughter, and aunt, she was at work. She lost her family and her home, all in one night.
Sabrina had another daughter, who survived. She was not at home during the fire. So, Sabrina had to take care of her, burials and the fact that they are homeless now.
9. The Car Was All She Had Left Of Her Mom And Daughter
All Sabrina had left, after the fire, was her mother’s car and her late daughter backpack left inside of it. Regardless of what happened, the car was still repossessed.
‘There was a mix up with paperwork and that’s caused the car to not be paid off by the insurance. 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,’ Archey wrote.
8. The Moment She Had To Write The Letter
Sabrina was searching the car one last time, when she noticed a faint imprint of a child-sized show on the dashboard, right where her daughter used to sit. She immediately burst into the tears.
This was also a moment when Sabrina decided to write a letter. In the letter, she added, “If you ever want to sell Sylvia, please try to find me. I just paid for 3 funerals, 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.”
7. Kevin Reached Out To Sabrina After Reading The Letter
Kevin and Sabrina were 15 minutes apart. So, after reading this letter filled with emotions he knew that he needs to find Sabrina and tell her that her mother’s car is in good hands.
Finding Sabrina wasn’t too difficult. Duke told her was much he was moved with the letter and he asked for her permission to share the letter on Facebook. No one expected what happened next.
6. The Letter Went Viral Online
Duke shared the heartbreaking letter on Facebook and it went viral. People were so moved by Sabrina’s story and many believed that Duke should return the car to her.
However, there was one person who believed that sharing is not enough and that someone should step up and do more. So, she decided to do something.
5. Tammi Warrington Had To Do Something
In Kansas, Tammi Warrington was reading Sabrina’s letter and was extremely moved by it. She remembers the feeling of her dad passing away and she couldn’t imagine how it is losing a child.
Tammi decided to reach out to Duke to see what she could do to help him and help return the car to its previous owner. She was surprised when she learned that Duke contacted Sabrina already.
4. She Helped Raise Money
Warrington and Duke started working together. They really wanted for Sabrina to get her car back. Moreover, they wanted to give her car back as a gift.
They worked together to figure out how much it would cost to replace Duke’s daughter’s car so that they could return the beloved car to Sabrina without her having to buy it back.
3. They Raised Enough Money
Soon afterward they set an online fundraising campaign. In first days they managed to raise just a few hundred dollars. Then one day changed everything. An Australian television ran a story about the campaign and it brought in a lot of money for the campaign.
Finally, TLC contacted Tammi to highlight the new friendship with Kevin and Sabrina, in their show ‘This Is Life Live’. Kevin agreed to appear on TV as long as he got to personally return the keys to Sabrina.
2. Sabrina Had Her Car Back
Duke said that if he could have afforded to replace the car he would have just given it to her. That was the main reason why he worked with Tammi.
Eventually, Sylvia was returned to Sabrina who felt so good about it. She could drive again the car her mom drove. For her, that was more than she ever hoped for.
1. Sylvia 2
Sabrina thanked everyone for helping her and restoring the part of her history and memories. Happy new friends had a ride around the block to celebrate this special occasion.
Also, Kevin was able to give his daughter a car. She named it Sylvia 2.