GRAND HAVEN, Mich. — Every now and then, we all need a little support.
That is what JD Edgington was hoping to find, when he posted on a Facebook community group in Grand Haven. He was asking for suggestions where to find a free shower and the cheapest laundromat.
But soon, he gained so much more.
"I just posted on there asking for laundry and a shower," said Edgington. "And within 24 hours, I had a job and a vehicle."
Edgington moved to Michigan from Iowa, where he worked his dream job as a firefighter. Then, he had a call where he lost a little boy, which was extremely hard on him. Soon after, he turned in his badge.
"I couldn’t really get a grip on it and I turned to alcohol after that," said Edgington. "And I drank pretty heavily for about a year and a half. I had 17 trips to the ER for alcohol poisoning."
He lost a lot: money, friends, and his fiancé. He began living out of his car. He said he never imagined he would be living a life like that.
"I just kept thinking someday I’d get out of it," said Edgington.
About a year later, he found himself in Grand Haven, where he came across the Grand Haven Informed community group, and made his request.
Dozens of people began to comment. Some offered him a place to do his laundry, gym passes to shower, and food. One person even paid for a hotel room for him for the rest of the week.
Then, a woman named Kimberly Niblick commented, saying she would offer him a job at her family's construction company. He would be able to make some money, and get back on his feet.
"We are incredibly grateful to be able to offer JD this opportunity and a fresh start at a new life," said Niblick. "His story has been incredible to watch. So many wonderful people have stepped forward in Grand Haven and offered him a second chance.”
There was a problem though. Edgington's car, which he was still living in, was not reliable enough to get to work or travel to various sites. He said it was dangerous, and may have even been illegal to drive in its state of disrepair.
But then, Andrew Koss commented on the post as well. He offered him a car... for free.
"Here’s a guy, very clearly down on his luck, but he’s not online looking for handouts," said Koss. "It was a breath of fresh air to scroll through and see the community coming together to help this guy."
Koss is a managing partner at Accurate Automotive in Saranac, but he lives in Grand Haven. On Friday, Koss picked up Edgington from the hotel he was staying at, and took him to his dealership to sign papers and get the keys to his new car.
"I’m a firm believer in you get what you put into the universe," said Koss. "And clearly, he had some good karma coming his way."
Edgington said he did not believe Koss when he first messaged him. It was hard for him to accept the handout, but Koss said he didn't really give him much of a choice not to.
"I didn’t expect the people of Grand Haven to come together like that," said Edgington. "I don’t think I've ever heard of something like that. I don’t even know what to say."
Edgington hopes one day he is in a position to help someone out like he has been. He said many of the people reaching out to help him shared similar stories of going through struggling times in life.
"I want to say thank you," said Edgington. "I don’t know how to say it enough, but you guys saved my life. I really thought that was it. These people, they didn’t even know me, and all this they’re doing for me, I don’t know how to say thankful enough. They’re like angels to me."
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