Portage couple giving away their car

PORTAGE, Mich. -- Sean and Autumn Hopwood know what it's like to go through hard times, and they want to make those hard times a little easier for someone by donating their 2003 Mazda Tribute.

The couple is getting ready to hike the entire Appalachian Trail this March, and say they can do without their only vehicle. It has 200,000 miles on it, but it still runs great.

The Hopwoods say it's never broken down on them, and they recently put new tires on it.

“We’ve been blessed with more and more. And we still don’t have a lot, but we know how hard it is to come from nothing," said Sean. "And so as we were preparing to hike the Appalachian Trail, we know that there’s a lot of people out in the community who don’t have what we do. So instead of us profiting more from it, we decided to bless somebody else with it.”

The car was partially given to the Hopwoods when they first moved to Portage and got married three years ago. They say that down-payment helped them get through some hard times.

“When Sean and I got engaged, we were living with his mom, we had no money, we just had moved here, and we had no car. So she was driving us everywhere," said Autumn.

Since the car has sentimental value, they want to make sure the car goes to someone who really needs it, and will use it.

“One thing too is we really want to meet them personally so we can really connect with them," said Sean. "One thing we’ve learned from going through hard times is we couldn’t do it without other people."

When the Hopwoods return from their hiking trip this fall, they plan on buying a new vehicle.

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10 comments

    • Sandra Walburn

      I am a mother of 3 I am lossing my car right now or very soon..my son is going to michigan tech in the u.p my daughter is at western…I am 50 years old working a 11 dollar an hour job I would love to send my son with this car so I can see him more on holidays..I am trying to save my car I have and I will but I cait see and do stuff for my family cause I am not a good parent cause I cant give them what they need or have cause everything is going to bill you know adult things..just would like to see a smile on his and my face for once..thanks for the ear

  • Alicia m Martin

    My soon to be mother inlaw she’s in her late 50s early 60s walks to work at bravo restaurant from her apartment on Kilgore and westnedge area. She walks everywhere most days rain skeet or snow. We give her rides as much as possible between her not wanting to ask and our work schedules. She has been with out a vehicle for a good 3 years. Not only is it inconvenient for her to get to work or even visit her grand kids its dangerous on so many levels. She says the bus takes her longer then walking because shes has to wait switch buses ect. Love her but shes stubborn. I worry about her getting sick or hurt. Even kidnapped or mugged…there’s so many horrible people in the world.
    I just know it would be so beneficial to her . bless you guys for such a lovely act of kindness. I’m sure whoever you choose really needs it.

  • Katya Colman

    Hi I am a single mom, I live in Allendale and am struggling to find work due to not having a car. My daughter is 10 months old and it has been very hard to keep her in daycare and if I had a car, I would be able to take her to and from daycare, I would be to get a good job and go to my therapy appointments and take my girl to the doctor for her appts. I would really appreciate a car. Thanks for your time and concern. Katya 616-848-0041

  • Tonia Rose

    I have 3 amazing children that God has blessed me with. I have tried so hard to keep my kids and I financially ok but it seems like a domino effect, things just happened one by one that i tried to fix but didn’t always have the means to do so. I look at my children with such guilt ecause its my job to make sure they have what they need and of course some of their wants but have failed, i feel as a parent. We do not have a vehicle at this time so asking or rides to do the things i need to do like go to work is so inconvenient for everyone and that bothers me alot. My family could really use reliable transportation. It would be a BLESSING. I wish i was in a position to help others as well. Hopefully someday. God bless u and your family.

  • Russell colter

    Hey, my girlfriend has three children and her oldest daughter has a 6 month old, my girlfriend totalled her van,she was visiting someone at the hospital and on. The way home she had a seizure at the wheel and hit a no parking sign that went through the passenger side of the window that could have killed her if it was inches closer, anyway we have been struggling, me taking uber or lyft to work, it gets pretty costly all the uber and lyfts we got to take places. Or i usually walk or ride my bike to work acoss town, I think you guys are doing the right thing its hard out there .

  • Jackie

    Single mom of 3 . My kids father is skitzophrenia and in prison 10-15 yrs. My children and I live in a 3 bedroom apt with my 75 yr old mom who suffers from severe ocd. So it would be too good to be true to have our own transportation, I can’t imagine having a car of our own. First I’d make our new 2018 schedule starting w church on Sundays and i would sign my son up for any and all sports. My son sits on his Xbox 24/7 it avoids all and every conflict between my mom and my son, I know it’s unhealthy but it’s cold and we have nothing to do or no rides to do or go anywhere.

    • Dallas & Becky Underhile

      We are an older couple who some months ago lost our only vehicle to repairs we could not afford. We are former missionaries to the Philippines for 15 years. Can’t afford to replace our vehicle but need one.

  • Scott Miller

    GoFundMe

    Donate

    Need a big help
    Share my story with as many people as you can just maybe someone can help.
    I don’t to go back to living in our car again.

    Well today was a sad day for I had to go into work and resign due to medical reasons. They’ve kept this job open for me since August 10 2017. It was the greatest job I’ve ever had. I love my job and I’ll always think that this is the greatest place ever. I loved serving the people of “Kent County “at the Road Commission. I wanted to work about 12 years and retire after 25 years at the age of 65 but my body won’t let me. Its like grieving the loss of a great friend because it’s like a part of me just died. I’m severely depressed tonight. The thought of being able to go back to work WAS part of what’s kept me going. Now I have nothing to look forward to. I might as well be dead now, I’ve lost the thing that I got out of bed to go do everyday. If you’ve gone through this let me know what are you doing to deal with this because right now I feel like I’ve lost any reason continue to keep living. Don’t get me wrong I love my family it’s just they’ve depended on me to take care of them and now I feel useless. I’m in so much pain that I can’t hardly function but I always felt I would go back to being me. And now that part of me just died.

    RIP

    Scott Miller

    My family so needs some donations to pay for a cheap motel until we get the money from my 401K which can take up to 6 weeks. So I figure about $2,400 then when I get some insurance money and when we can get a place to live I will be paying these donations forward. God bless any and all of you who have and who will make donations.

    If it were just me I wouldn’t care cause, as far as I see it ,my life ended already today.

    So I’m having a hard time with finding reasons to continue on. My job was who I was! I was a Kent County Road Commission Employee and DAMN PROUD OF IT.
    PS. We are in desperate need of another car right now. The only one we have is need of a lot of car repairs (way to many to list) and the bottom floor broads are roting out. But it’s all we have.

    Thank you

    Scott Miller
    GoFundMe

  • Shirley VanderSchuur

    Good Morning Sean & Autumn.. Wow! God Bless you two. There is nothing Better than a Heart that is Giving.. Your Adventure and journey is going to be AWESOME! I have already prayed for you both and asked God to go along on that Adventure with you.. Ha. You two already know that Christ is walking with you both. So here it is. I too gave our little Toyota away a year ago. I posted it on Facebook, and asked that people private message me and tell me a little about themselves, and why they needed this great running Toyota. It was so overwhelming all of the people that were in need. I had so many responses and it took me 3 weeks to read everyone of them.. I had it narrowed down to 3, and prayed then made the decision. It was tough. Then about 3 months later, God blessed me again with renting the extra room we have to take in a Homeless person. Lol. Most people would not consider that a Blessing. However I did. He is a friend of my husband and myself for the last 20 years, he ended up homeless do to unfortunate circumstances. We watched for 5 long years as he slowly lost everything that meant something to him. Starting with his job at Hermen Miller that he had for 25 years due to a back injury. Then his marriage went down the tubes, when his wife decided to take up her addiction with gambling again, which in turn left them with an inability to make house payments, well you know what was next. Right? “Indeed”, the home that they lived in for 15 years. Of course a DIVORCE was next. He then was couch surfing and living in his car, for about a year, when I saw him one Day freezing in his car last Spring sleeping on a side street in our neighborhood. I then took him out for Breakfast and asked him to come home with me, and made him a small place in the basement. Set him all up with a bed, small end table, a small T.V. washed his clothes, made him dinner that evening, and when my husband came home from work, he invited him to move in. He lives on a limited income, which we make him pay 300.00 of that income to us for his rent. This Man is so Grateful, and is doing pretty well now. I have him putting his extra money away each month, and pay off some of his debt so that he can eventually move out and live on his own. The car he was in when I found him sleeping in it, is still here and we have helped him to keep it running. It is old a 1997 Oldsmobile Bonneville with over 400,000 miles. Here it is. If you are on FB. we would love it to have you guys out here to meet us, and him. I will make Dinner. Not matter what you guys do with your Mazda… I am so impressed with the fact that you two want to pay it forward… We do not have enough of this kind of Love out there anymore. I will look for you on FB. and private message you my phone number. Please call me. It will be Fun to meet you two, and have new Christian friends. Thank you for taking the time to read my story. Shirley VanderSchuur.