Mom of 4 Is Stranded After Car Dies Suddenly—Then She Hears a Knock on the Passenger Window

There are few situations more stressful than being stranded somewhere with your kids when your car breaks down—imagine this happening with four kids, including a 6-week-old infant, and imagine you had no phone, no one to call. Relying on the kindness of strangers is not a great feeling, but when mom Tawny Nelson was stranded with her four children ages 9, 5, 2 and 6 weeks, she had no choice but to swallow her pride and ask passers-by for help. Time after time she was IGNORED or insulted—then a miracle happened. Tawny told her story to KTVU News anchor Frank Somerville, who posted it to his Facebook page, where the story is quickly going viral—and it’s easy to see why!

Tawny Nelson 2
Photo: Tawny Nelson via Frank Somerville KTVU on Facebook

Somerville’s post reads:

This is Tawny Nelson with three of her four kids.
She just told me about what happened to her in Florida.
And how a 74 year old man knocking on the window of her truck has helped restore her faith in people.
(I swear I got chills when I read what happened next)

Here’s what she wrote me:

I am the single mother of four absolutely beautiful little girls.
The are 9, 5, 2, and 6 weeks.
And things have been particularly rough since my ex left.

My truck had a flat I constantly had to air up.
The driver side window motor died.
And I needed a new alternator belt.
The truck was a mess.
And we didn’t drive anywhere unless we had to.

Well the other day we desperately need to go to the store.
So we loaded up and drove to the Winn Dixie about 9 blocks away.

When we got out of the store it was far after dark.
And POURING rain.

I loaded my kids and groceries into the truck.
Tried to crank it…… Nothing.
No click.

One of my girls as accidentally left a light on.
My battery was dead.
My phone was also disconnected.
I have no family to speak of and was on my own.

I got out and opened my hood to be sure my battery hadn’t come loose.

I must have asked more than twenty people in the course of two hours for a jump.
They all ignored me.
Not even a no.
Just acted like i didn’t exist.

My 5 Year old was melting down.
My newborn SCREAMING, my two year old crying she was hungry, and my oldest desperately trying to help.

I was bawling and felt like the worst Mom ever.

Then I got a knock on the passenger window.
An older gentleman (he was 74) with a cane and a bad limp was on the other side of that knock.

I opened the door.
He handed me a plate of chicken strips and biscuits from the deli and bottles of water.

“Feed those babies and your self young lady.
I have a tow truck on the way and my wife will be here shortly to take y’all home.”

Sure enough she arrived followed by the tow truck.
Us and our truck were taken home.

The next morning the gentleman returned to my house with a mechanic who replaced my battery and alternator and fixed my window.

The elderly gentleman then left and did not return.
When I asked what I owed the mechanic and if I could make payments he smiled telling me the older man had paid for all of it.

He said that the only payment the older man wanted was for me to never give up and keep being an amazing mom.

I’ve never cried so hard in my life.
Things had been absolutely awful.
More so than I care to explain.

And without knowing us or our situation this kind man helped us in ways he will never know.

What he did revived my faith when I was falling apart.
But he wouldn’t even take a hug.

I’ll never be able to thank him.
But I certainly hope one day I can do what he did for me for someone else.

—-Tawny Nelson

Isn’t that a great story?

I hope the 74 year-old man who helped her sees this.
I hope he knows what a difference he made for Tawny.

Someday I’m going to do something like that.
I can just feel it.
And it’s going to make me so happy.


Listen, mamas, we’ve had a LOT of bad news in our feeds lately. And with the upcoming election, negativity is EVERYWHERE. So, stories like these make a HUGE difference in my day! Here’s an older man who simply saw a need and filled it, expecting nothing in return except that Tawny do her VERY best by her children. Whether he was a Christian or not, I don’t know, but what I do know is that he showed the kind of love to a complete stranger that Jesus wants us to. He saw this stranded mama and her four kids and loved them as his NEIGHBOR, simply because they were humans in need.

I’m SO inspired and moved to tears by his kindness. Be on the lookout for how you can show love to others in need today, my friends! And if this inspired you, too, please share it on Facebook and put some good news in someone else’s feed!

Jenny Rapson
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Jenny Rapson is a wife and mom of three from Ohio and the editor of For Every Mom. You can also find her alternately griping and gushing about her kids at her own blog, Mommin' It Up. You can email her at, or follow her on Twitter.