Donated Van Helps Woman Achieve Her Dream

KENT COUNTY, Mich.– Imagine receiving a gift that is just the missing piece needed to achieve an important dream. That was the case for one Grand Rapids area woman when she received a new van.

I’Esha Hayes has the heart and the dedication, but she was missing one thing keeping her from achieving her dream.

While being homeless was rough, it did not stop her from wanting to become a pediatrician. However, not having a way to get around town, made it challenging.

“That was kind of rough, being pregnant and being homeless,” said Hayes.

“She suffers from arthritis and her biggest struggle was winter time,” said Barbara Zylstra, Family Promise, a housing agency in Grand Rapids. “Being outside in the cold, waiting for a bus was a real burden for her.”

Realizing Hayes’ strong desire to make it, Family Promise coordinated with Hansen Collision and Progressive to find a reliable vehicle for Hayes.

“I get this call from Barbara and she’s like, this is the day and the time I’m going to pick you up,” recalled Hayes. “I screamed so loud, like Oh my God!”

Progressive made sure the vehicle was structurally safe, and Hansen Collision volunteered man-power to get it ready.

“My heart goes out to everyone that supported me,” said Hayes. “Now that I have that van, I am able to make it to appointments, go back and forth to school. I’m a pre med student and I can’t stop!  I have to get my career going so me and my son can have a better life.”

“As an organization, to reach out and touch someone’s life,” said Kelly Gmazel of Hansen’s Collision, “It really makes you feel like your company’s mission means something.”

Hayes has two more years left of school.

6 comments

    • Anonymous

      I believe this story about this young lady needs to be looked into. As a private responder to this pay it forward. I’Esha Hayes comes from a fairly established mother & father. She has never been homeless, she has always lived with her mother Beverly a former Grps worker. & lived with her mother during & after her pregnancy in a town home located on Grand Rapids & always had access to transportation. I believe several parts of her story is fraudulent. She has a very big family & I believe this pay it forward could have been used on someone more deserving. To see her Facebook page this young shows no type of strain, hopelessness or anything. Be the judge yourself. Her real name is Chiquita Hayes.

  • n/a

    I know a couple that is trying so hard to get a handicapped van. she is in a wheelchair and need care all the time. their son is her caregiver -as Dad works and still can't make things work better for them. the boy had a massive heart attack last month and he is only in his 30's the doctor is talking of heart transplant. plus the husband also care for his mother who also lives in the household. if you go to facebook and type in Jack Allen Sr. you will get the information thank you

  • Bindupedbythem

    No, her name is in IEsha and she hails from a family of moochers, beggars and tricksters. Did you notice the "coach" bag she was carrying? What school is IEsha attending? Pre-med student my eye. She barely graduated from East Grand Rapids. She plays the violin. BUT this is sad. Her father was a long-time employee of Steelcase, she has a sister, a brother and a ton of uncles and aunts all living in Grand Rapids. She was born to a begging, conniving mother and has inherited this shamless trait honestly. No shame…just lazy and greedy. Where is the baby's dad? If she is homeless it would appear to me that she needs shelter more than a van. WoW….all I can say is WOW. This is probably a good organization but you guys have just been TAKEN…HAD again. By the way the base family name is WITHERSPOON.. However, this breed (Beverly and Iesha and the other daughter Katrina….beggar..BEGGARS.

  • Jake

    Nice story, good thing help is available, but the thing I'm concerned about is the available help being given to a deserving person?

  • MJ Nelson

    What a shame. I think that how you get things is how you will loose them. Lie to get a truck and no telling what kind of bad things will come back to you. I hope that abusers don't mess up this good program. Pay it forward is a good program to help people that really need. I feel sorry for people that stoop so low. I pray that this vehicle will help her and her child get to the help that they need. Spiritual and mental.

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