Internet pokes fun at woman’s door-less van, stranger steps up to fix it for free

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

MUSKEGON, Mich. -- A Muskegon woman has received help from a stranger after being subject to internet bullying when a picture of her damaged van received a lot of reaction on Facebook.

The van was completely missing the driver’s side door, but the mother of five said that she had no choice other than to continue driving it.

Several people made jokes and created memes on social media with the picture.

However, someone saw all the mean comments about the woman and stepped up to fix the van for free.

The van has been damaged for more than a year. The family said that they simply couldn’t afford to replace the door following an accident.

Devin Beeman doesn’t own the van, but was driving it when the popular picture was taken, showing up on Facebook.

"I just look over, and they were taking pictures," said Devin Beeman. "So, I'm like, 'Okay well, that's fine.' But then I get home, and they were posted on Facebook."

The van actually belongs to Amanda Maxfield, a mother of five.

"He tried everything with a door, and we just couldn't get it," said Maxfield of her fiance's efforts to fix the problem. "So, we just had to drive without the door."

For more than a year, people have been recording video and taking pictures of Maxfield as she drove her doorless van in Muskegon, she said. After dozens of comments were posted on Facebook poking fun at her misfortune, a different type of post appeared.

James Barber said in a post that he wanted to help.

"You don't beat somebody when they are down on the ground like that, " said Barber. "Instead, when someone is down like that, instead of looking down on them, you know, try to help them out."

Following the passing of Barber’s mother last month, he has been inspired to help out others in her memory, he said.

"Of course, the public comments were insults and being mean, and I got on there an offered to help," said Barber.

"A co-worker said get a hold of him, he's willing to help you," said Maxfield. "I got a hold of him, and, everything he offered, I just cried

This past Saturday, the pair met up, and the door was replaced.

"She is now riding around with a door on her vehicle and no more public humiliation," said Barber.

"I could not believe that somebody out of the kindness of their heart would help someone like that they don't even know," said Maxfield.

With the door replaced, she hopes to be able to help someone else the way Barber stepped up for her. "I actually can't wait to pay it forward. I can't wait to help somebody like he has helped."

"There is people out there that are doing good deeds," said Barber. "Not just me, but other people, and hopefully this influences somebody out there to do the same."

Maxfield hopes that, with the van repaired, her children won’t be subject to negative comments from the public, which she said that have been humiliating for them.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

22 comments

  • april

    This is ridiculous… They had a different vehicle until maybe 2-3 weeks ago !! They sold it and started driving this van. That’s a shame they took advantage of that man. Just because they can’t budget money.

    • cassie

      No. What is ridiculous is you being the neighborhood 411. Just how is it your business what a person does to help another person. How is it your business that they had a different car? Did they sell it because they needed the money? Was it borrowed? Was it on its last leg? If you hurry I bet you can pick in their trash and see what they had for dinner and post your dislike. Get a life.

  • Alison Gase

    Anyone who thinks it’s ok to mock someone who is struggling like this woman has not conscience or soul. There’s a special place in hell for them if Karma doesn’t get them first.

  • Annette

    thank god for good christian people stepping out with extended arms..pay it forward has become a beautiful thing….hoping an praying that more people start helping more…..

    • Laura

      Where does it say this person is Christian? He may or may not be but people of other (or no) religions can be altruistic, too.

  • Shane

    It’s all about priorities. It would be interesting to see there spending habits and budget. The van would have been a #1 priority before any fun, going out, eating out, video games, pop, junk food, entertainment, any of that crap. Also… do they both work? Are they on assistance? Literally i have seen families that struggle there butts off … in worse shape that put there priorities in order and take care of the IMPORTANT things first.

    Families that live off Ramen Noodles just to pay the bills and keep up vehicle maintenance. Where soda pop and snacks are a Luxury. Not needed to survive in this “Free Ride Society” we call Obama Democracy.

    In this society, under this president, with this government, too many free rides and handouts are being offered to people that want to just go along for the ride.

    I’m not saying this family does this… But it is an unfortunate reality in this society. Especially in Muskegon, Mi.

    JMOO

    I’m glad someone was stepping up to help out as any good CHRISTIAN PERSON would do… But what else are people gonna have to step up to do for others that are in situations that could be handled with responsibility, a good budget, discipline and saving.

    PRIORITIES, PRIORITIES, PRIORITIES.

    • John Franklin

      +1

      She deserved all of the mocking and then some. Is it our fault she can’t get her priorities in order? Does anyone take responsibility for their own actions any more?

      Five kids, an unsafe vehicle to transport the kids but her tummy is never empty. Disgusting.

  • Ann

    I don’t understand..if you have a car loan you must have full coverage insurance sooo she had full coverage got paid to replace the door then didn’t that’s not struggling that just pure ignorance..only ones I feel bad for are those children being forced to be publicly humiliated because their parents are bad with money and being completely irresponsible
    My family of 3 is living off of one small income and we live extremely comfortable not because we’re “rich” but because were responsible adults and focus on priorities and savings (we also don’t have many children that we can’t support) it’s not always fun but that’s what adults do!
    Grow up people!

    • heather

      You do realize that with full coverage insurance comes a deductible right? Most people have a $500 to $1000 deductible…

      • Ann

        A door cost $200 at the junk yard..I know someone hit my car and took off when I was younger and I had to replace it out of my pocket overall cost of $400

        • Ann

          So he’s she would have to pay for it if she CHOSE to have a high deductible but then she should just put the door on herself..I’m no mechanic but if I came down to making sure my children were safe I would most definitely figure it out and do it…but again that what adults do..so can’t expect that from these type of people..$200 really going to kill someone

  • Hallie Jenkins

    Anybody that is making fun of her you need to find out what its like first hand to either ride or drive in a vehicle that has no seatbelts or doors. What is the difference between riding in a van or a car or even a truck with no doors then riding in a jeep with no doors. Wait that’s right there is none. There is Jeeps out there that has no doors to them and you don’t see anybody making fun of the people that drive them. All the people that are picking on her needs to grow up and get a life. The people that says that she needs to take care of her priorities most not have any children or if they do then they most live with family members that takes care of them and pay for everything for them. Her priorities are her children and therefore she does take care of her priorities. So what if she has 5 children and has no door on the van. Her children do not drive the van she does so how is that on safe for her children. All you that are making fun of her most also never grow up in a big family and had 2 parents that worked they butts off and still had a hard time making ends meet and had to live cheap cause your parents still didn’t make enough even with both them working. Therefore you all need to stop making fun of her.

  • Nancy

    What kind of society have we become that people cruelly make fun of others who are doing the best they can in a tough situation? James Barbor, you did a wonderful deed and set a good example.

  • Kristy

    First of all, for those commenting about her weight and using money to keep her belly full, did you even watch the video? She is not a big woman at all, so I’m not sure where that came from? Maybe her sweatshirt made her look big? Regardless….so? Heavy people don’t automatically mismanage their money. And where did it say they used insurance money for something else? I missed that too. No matter what, noone deserves to be bullied.