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SARAH TAYLOR

February 09, 2021

A 17-year-old Chick-fil-A employee won a new car during a company Christmas raffle, but gave it to her friend and co-worker who commuted to the job on a regular basis on a big way.

What are the details?

According to Today, 17-year-old Haley Bridges of Appleton, Wisconsin, gifted a vehicle to her 19-year-old friend and co-worker, Hokule’a Taniguchi, who had been commuting to and from work on a bicycle all fall and winter long.

Bridges told the outlet that her co-workers aren’t just her fellow employees: they’re her second family.

“I started working at Chick-fil-A in late August,” she told the outlet, noting that she and Taniguchi became fast friends in the following weeks. “I love working here. Not only are the people that work here amazing, but it has taught me so many new things. I always look forward to going to work, I get to see my second family.”

Bridges said she was in attendance at the 2020 Christmas banquet when she received five raffle tickets to win the grand prize — a car.

“The car was the only raffle where we couldn’t pool our tickets, one ticket per person,” Bridges recalled. “Our friend group and some other friends decided to all put one in for her. We were all very nervous that someone else would get chosen, but we kept our hopes up.”

Bridges said that she couldn’t believe her ears when she heard her name announced as winner of the new vehicle.

“Once my name was called by one of the bosses, Hoku and I looked at each other, this is when she started to cry,” Bridges added. “I’ve never seen her emotional side much. She is a very happy person and very funny and goofy as well. We looked at each other and I started to cry as well. … My heart felt as if I was racing and we both stood up and ran to each other. Everyone in the room felt like they were gone, it felt as if it was just us two in the moment. We hugged each other hard and cried so much. Everyone was either crying or clapping. We all had a big group hug with everyone near us and it felt so unreal experiencing this.”

She added, “No one deserves it more than Hoku.”

Bridges was met with another huge stroke of luck after the good fortune of receiving — and giving away — the new vehicle.

“My aunt held a fundraiser to get [her own car loan] paid off!” she revealed. “I was paying monthly for the car, and it took a chunk of my paycheque.”

What else?

Taniguchi told WLUK-TV that she feels incredibly blessed to be a part of the Chick-fil-A family.

“I really just started crying, because I was so happy, and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh! I can’t believe this is real!'” Taniguchi recalled of the moment she realized she would have a new car. “Now I can go grocery shopping. I can, like, go to work, like, five minutes before now instead of, like, two hours earlier just to get here on time. There’s a million more opportunities and possibilities for me now!”

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