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Retiree Has Driven 64,000 Miles Helping Low-Income Students Get to College

Retiree Has Driven 64,000 Miles Helping Low-Income Students Get to College
Image: Michael Voroshnin / Unsplash

It was a few days before Christmas, and Paul Goetchius looked like a dad picking up his daughter from college—greeting the smiling young woman outside the dorm, tossing her backpack into his SUV, and then easing out onto the snow-covered interstate.

The next day, he did the same thing at a different college—and he did it again the next day, and the next day, and the next. By the time the holiday arrived, he’d put more than 1,000 miles on his Chevy Tahoe, bringing kids home from college. They weren’t even his kids.

In the past eight years, Goetchius, 76, has logged over 64,000 miles driving low-income college students to and from universities all around New York state. The first student Goetchius drove to college was a young woman studying at the University at Buffalo. He had seen an article about a nonprofit that helps disadvantaged kids get to college. “I thought, ‘Well, heck, I can drive a car.’” Eight years later, he’s still at it, and that first rider is now a physician.

Sometimes the students need rides because their family doesn’t have a car. Sometimes the students have no home. “I’ve given rides to college to kids who were living at the homeless shelter or on a relative’s couch,” Goetchius says. “Some of these kids are incredible, what they overcome to get to college.”

Irby is a student Goetchius transported all four of her years. She said she’s not sure what she would have done without Goetchius’s rides or his humility. She said, “I always told him, ‘We never thanked you enough,’ and he was just like, ‘I don’t do it for thanks.’”

Possible Preaching Angles: 1) Benevolence; Help; Social Action – Christ calls us to help the less fortunate and by doing so we can show them the love of God; 2) Christmas; God, gifts of – God showed us his generosity and grace by freely giving when we were in great need.

Source: Karen Weese, “This retiree has driven 64,000 miles helping low-income students get to college,” Washington Post, Inspired Life (12-10-18)

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