Man stranded in parking lot asks for work—community is touched by his heartbreaking journey

September 18, 2017 11:00 am Last Updated: November 30, 2017 11:11 am


Traveling to all 50 states in a single trip is a huge task, especially for someone who is completing the journey alone.

Keith Smith knew it would be a difficult journey for many reasons. Not only was he driving coast to coast with no one else besides his dog, Zoey, but he was also spreading his wife’s ashes at all of the places the couple wanted to visit, before she unexpectedly passed away last year.

Smith was hundreds of miles away from his home in Missouri in late August when he found himself stranded.

(Facebook/Paige Bisson)

Smith sat with his van in the parking lot of a Walmart in Maine, hoping someone would see his handmade sign. Not only did he have flat tires and was out of gas, but he had run out of money “due to unexpected repairs.”

He wrote that he was willing to work to help pay for the repair and gas, but after a few days he didn’t seem to be having any luck. Until a woman named Paige Bisson noticed him.

Bisson approached the man and learned why he was stuck in the parking lot.

(Facebook/McEwen’s Auto)

The young woman purchased food, water, and a gift card for Smith, then posted about him on her Facebook page. The post caught the attention of another woman living in the same town, and she asked the community for help on behalf of Smith.

Devon McEwen, of McEwen’s Auto shop, saw the cry for help and decided he had to help the man.

The next morning McEwen showed Smith the Facebook post he saw and told him he’d fix his car for him.

(Facebook/McEwen’s Auto)

McEwen fixed Smith’s flat tires, and he said when his mom found out about the stranded traveller, she also pitched in to help. She brought him a blanket and pillow and assorted toiletries.

“We charged the battery up, did an oil change to make sure everything is 100% so he can complete his journey,” Caleb McEwen told WABI. “That’s the main thing. I want to see him complete his journey, for not just him, but his wife that’s looking down on him.”

Within a few hours, Smith’s vehicle was ready, and he was off to continue the rest of his journey.