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McClellanville man surprises families with cars for Christmas

Updated: Dec. 26, 2020 at 6:23 AM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A McClellanville man is on a mission to fix donated cars and give them to families in need. On Christmas morning, he made a special delivery to a family who had no idea it was coming.

Jessica Litchfield says she was expecting a visitor, but she didn’t know who it was or what the visitor was bringing.

“I was thinking Santa was coming to the house or something,” Litchfield said. “We had no idea. This was a complete shock. This is so awesome.”

Litchfield says she had COVID-19 and still has lingering complications. She says it’s been a struggle and it’s impacted her work. Her kids go to a charter school that doesn’t provide transportation.

“We try to keep a positive attitude about everything, an upbeat mindset because we realize that a lot of people are struggling and we were some of those people who thought we were going to lose everything behind the pandemic,” Litchfield said.

The car was gifted through a McClellanville nonprofit Middleton’s Village to Village Foundation. Restaurant owner and mechanic Eliot Middleton is the founder.

“This is my Christmas to me and it means nothing more than just seeing someone with a smile on their face knowing that they are going to be relieved,” Middleton said.

He takes donated cars and fixes them to gift to families. It’s a labor of love that started after he learned people walked more than 4 miles to attend a food drive he helped host. There was no more food by the time they arrived.

“It made me feel bad,” Middleton said.

That inspired him to take action.

“Because of no public transportation, no Uber, no taxi services or anything out there, if you don’t have a family member with a car, you’re pretty much walking,” Middleton said.

So far people have donated 37 cars since his efforts began in August. He’s fixed and delivered six cars and has two other mechanics assisting because the response and interest have been so great.

The cars have gone to families in various parts of the Lowcountry including Walterboro, Hanahan, Dunbar, McClellanville and Andrews.

Litchfield says it’s life changing.

“Just hang in there because as long as you’re breathing there’s still time for God to throw you a miracle and help keep you going,” Litchfield said. “This has been a wonderful Christmas. I could have never even dreamed of such a thing. It’s such a relief to my life. This makes a difference for our life.”

The nonprofit is accepting car donations, no matter what the condition, and equipment to help transport and work on the vehicles. Their efforts are year-round.

The Middleton’s Village to Village Foundation is also accepting nominations from the public for people who need a car. You can email the organization at Village2VillageFoundation@gmail.com.

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