Good Samaritan donates car to dedicated worker, who biked miles to work each day

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — With the holiday season in full swing, some locals are getting into the Christmas spirit, giving a gift that will keep on giving. Tuesday, a man donated his truck to someone who truly needed it, biking several miles to work everyday.

According to his coworkers, Eric Lengeni takes hard work to a whole new level.

“He’s one of the most dedicated people I’ve ever worked with,” said one manager. “And I’ve been here 16 years.”

Never late a day in his life, the 48-year-old father fell into hard times during the pandemic and now bikes to and from work, rain or shine.

“And he rides his bike to work in all weather eight to ten miles each way,” said Drew Ritter, who donated his truck Tuesday.

After months of saving up, Lengeni began looking for another car, asking Ritter if he knew of any cars for sale after a particularly difficult commute.”

“It’s really hard and it’s not safe because Wilmington doesn’t have some bike lanes,” Lengeni admitted. “So it’s kind of dangerous biking back and forth to work.”

Ritter had considered selling his car or trading it in for a new vehicle. Running a homeless ministry, he’d had many people donate cars to his non-profit in the past. He decided this was his chance to pay it forward.

“I felt in my heart and God telling me I need to give him this car,” Ritter remembered.

After raising more than $3,200 on GoFundMe to fix up the used Jeep, Ritter dropped the car off at Lowes Homes Improvement. Lengeni was thankful for the vehicle.

“I feel really good and I feel really blessed. I’m really happy.”

He’s most thankful for what the gift will enable him to do. Now that he won’t spend more than two hours biking, he can spend more time with his family.

“It will help me out,” Lengeni smiled, “because I have a seven-year-old son. I’d just like to see him more often. Knowing I don’t have a car, it was really hard for me to see him. Now that I have a car, I can see him more often.”

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