Lyft passenger Will moved across the country to pursue his dreams with the help of his family back in Indiana. When we heard the story — and that he hadn’t been able to see his family in over three years because money was so tight — we brought Will and his mom back together for an unforgettable Mother’s Day surprise.
Over the course of this project, we got to hear Will’s side of his family's story. Days after we published, we received our own surprise: emails from members of his family on what this trip meant to them.
Below are excerpts from correspondences Will’s mom, dad, and brother sent to our team.
René, Will’s mom:
The last couple of days, since my arrival back to Indiana, I've walked around asking myself if that trip to San Francisco really happened?
I cannot describe the pure joy that you gave to this mother upon getting to see her son! Getting to see Will's world meant more to me than you will ever know.
You missed the really emotional footage when I had to say goodbye to Will. That's when the waterworks started!
After their trip, René applied to become a Lyft driver.
Brad, Will’s dad:
I apologize for this being a little late in getting to you but this is my first day off since getting back from San Francisco. Words cannot express my sincere gratitude... It took me a few days after getting back to fully comprehend what had transpired!
It was great to visit a city that I have wanted to see for many years but it was absolutely amazing to see Will and how much he has grown and matured.
Thank you for a once in a lifetime experience!
Yesterday, Brad saw his first Lyft car in Indianapolis. “As we passed, I got the biggest smile on my face!”
James, Will’s older brother:
I woke up to an email from my mother with video attached and watched it several times before I got out of bed. It really just made my day. Thank you for that.
I’m stationed out in Guam and haven’t seen my family together like that in the better part of 5 years. With William in San Fran and me being in the United States Air Force we can never really manage to cross paths at the same time… For a split moment this morning we were all together, which is a rarity. I don’t think Lyft has any idea how that little video affected this entire family.
William does so much good for so many others that it is about time he got his return… His good actions have finally paid off, if I could reach through the screen and hug you guys I would.
Thank you for touching our lives and making this happen.
James hopes to visit San Francisco himself next year, when he returns to the States from Guam.
Thanks again to Will and his family for letting us be a part of their Mother's Day.