BUCKHANNON — A good deed from two extraordinary young men in Buckhannon got a whole lot of attention, after a Facebook post thanking them went viral. Sixteen-year-old Levi Martin was working an evening shift at McDonalds last Monday, when an elderly lady with no money came in asking for a drink. She was given a drink and started talking with customers, then she went outside and began asking customers in the drive-thru for a ride. Something about the situation just didn’t sit right with Martin.
Martin said he was very concerned as to why an elderly lady, in obvious pain and seemingly a little confused, would be stranded on the street, so he went out and talked with her. After speaking with her and finding out that she was from another town and had been left at the local hospital, he knew he couldn’t walk away without helping her. He said people were actually sneaking out the back door, in fear that she was going to ask them for a ride. Martin asked his manager if she could just hang out there until he finished his shift. The manager agreed and Martin generously bought her something to eat and another drink. He was still unsure what he was going to do because he doesn’t have a vehicle and walks home from work. All Martin knew was that he had to help her.
During the rest of Martin’s shift, he worked diligently at trying to find a ride. At the end of his shift, still not having found a ride, he went and got the woman and they started walking toward town to possibly find a motel room for her. Martin said that the lady struggled with walking, so they had to stop less than a block from where they started, so she could sit and rest.
In the meantime, Martin’s 16-year-old friend, Lonnie Scott, had found someone who was willing to help. Jacob Peggs, age 23 of Hodgesville, said when he heard what was going on, he didn’t even think about it. Peggs got in his car and headed to their rescue.
Peggs picked them up where she had stopped to rest. First, he drove to the store where they bought her some drinks, snacks and other things she needed. Then, the trio went to the Centennial Motel, where I was at work that night. Martin came in and asked if I had any rooms available and I told him that I did, but I wasn’t allowed to rent to locals. He informed me that it wasn’t for him and then told me what had just transpired. I told him what the cost of a room would be, and he ask me to wait while he went outside and spoke with Peggs. Both boys came back in and split the cost of the room for the lady.
I was so touched, by the compassion that I had just witnessed from these two young men, that I made a Facebook post about it. I thanked them, saying that this is the way we should be raising our children, and that our country needs more of this kind of compassion. To my surprise, the post quickly went viral.
My grandfather always told me that it’s not a favor or a good deed, unless it’s a sacrifice. This was undoubtedly a sacrifice. The young men didn’t have the means to help, but they worked at it together until they figured it out. Martin and Peggs decided they weren’t leaving her on the street, even though she was a stranger, for any reason.
When I initially asked Martin for an interview, he was reluctant because he said that he didn’t do this for attention and wasn’t trying to get any recognition, or even a thank you. He just couldn’t understand what the big deal was, which speaks volumes of his character. When Martin was asked what he would say to other young people that could possibly inspire this kind of compassion, he said, “I was raised that right is right, and wrong is wrong. When you see someone in trouble, you help. You never know when you could be in a similar situation and if something like that happened to my grandma, I would hope someone would help her.” Peggs was asked the same question and he replied, “When I heard what was happening and that she was elderly and couldn’t walk any further, I didn’t think twice. If you see people struggling who are elderly or handicapped in any way, you just help.”
These two selfless young men should be commended for their generosity and praised for this remarkable good deed, so thank you, Levi Martin and Jacob Peggs!