It can be difficult sometimes to remember the true potential for human compassion, especially in the modern age of strife that the world finds itself in. That’s why it’s important to note these instances when they occur, because they are what make us human. Perhaps no one understands this more than Tanner Brownlee, a young man who recently experienced one of the most profound moments of his life.
Tanner was the son of a police officer who was killed during a chase back in 2010. Losing a loved one to the line of duty is something many people have to deal with, and for Tanner, his brother, and his mother, the shock was overwhelming. Tanner was exceptionally close with his father, so losing that connection created a rift in the young man’s heart. Even though it has been years since the incident, the pain will never go away, although it may lessen. Tanner has been able to cope with the lose by searching for treasures that once belonged to his father so he can help keep his memory alive through heirlooms and sentimental value.
Tanner inherited several things from his father, including his leather motorcycle jacket, but it was too large for the young man. He wanted to find something that he could actually use in his daily life that held a connection with his lost father, and he found the answer. His father’s old squad car was going up for auction, so he decided he had to buy it.
There was no money for Tanner to purchase the car outright, which was a Dodge Charger with 147,000 miles packed onto it. The car was valued at $12,500 according to several professional estimates, so Tanner turned to GoFundMe in order to crowd-fund the cost. His campaign was successful, and he had the $12,500 ready and waiting for the day of the auction. People from all over the world had donated to his campaign in the hopes they could help this young man reclaim his father’s car, but it wasn’t a done deal yet.
The day of the auction, Tanner was nervous. He felt that it was possible the car might be sold for much more than the value of the car itself simply because it was owned by a fallen police officer. His fear became a reality, and his bid was quickly overshadowed by others trying to win a piece of history. The winner ended up being a man from the back of the auction hall who agreed to pay over $60,000 for the Charger. Tanner was devastated at his lose, but then something miraculous happened.
The man approached the podium to claim the keys to the squad car, and Tanner burst into tears at the sight of his father’s car being claimed by another. His grief was only temporary, however. The man, who was a total stranger to Tanner and his family, approached the tearful young man and handed him the keys to the vehicle. Tanner was shocked, but the budding applause in the room quickly made him realize what was happening. He stood and hugged the stranger with all the strength he could muster.
The stranger in this story is one of the most selfless people in modern history. He had no connection to the family in question, beyond living in the same community, and he had such a deep respect for Tanner’s quest to reclaim his father’s car that the man decided to secretly help win the vehicle. The stranger suspected others might try to outbid Tanner for greedy reasons, so he attended the auction specifically to be sure he could buy the car for Tanner if the young man couldn’t match the increasingly high bids. Such amazing charity is rare in this world, and it must not be ignored.