Chick-fil-a Employee Wins A Car At A Company Raffle — And Immediately Donates It To A Co-worker In Dire Need. Then She's Hit With Another Wave Of Good Fortune.

Hokule’a Taniguchi no longer has to ride a bike from her home in Neenah to her job at Chick-fil-A in Grand Chute.

A remarkable gift from co-worker Hailey Bridges made that possible.

Bridges had promised to give the car to her friend if she won it at Chick-fil-A's holiday party at the Grand Meridian..

The party featured raffles for prizes from a crockpot to a Nintendo Switch game console. When Taniguchi saw that a 2008 Hyundai Elantra was among the prizes, she tried not to get her hopes up.

Taniguchi became friends with many of her co-workers at Chick-fil-A. Several of them, including Bridges, used their car raffle tickets for her. When Bridges' name was called as the winner, she and Taniguchi were overcome with excitement.

"[Hailey’s] name got called, we looked at each other, and I stood up and screamed. I ran to her and gave her the biggest hug. And then we started crying, of course," Taniguchi said. "I was so shocked, but also so grateful. I just couldn’t believe it."

In October, Taniguchi moved from Hawaii to stay with her sister in Neenah and began working at Chick-fil-A. New to Wisconsin and its winter weather, the Hawaiian native had to bike for up to two hours before her shift to make it through the cold weather safely.

"It was fine in the beginning, because it wasn't as cold," said Taniguchi. "But once it started snowing, it was really hard, because I'd easily slip. When the wind would hit and I was biking, my face was just not happy with me."

Bridges’ own car situation is less than ideal. She’s a junior at Xavier High School, but her car is only one of the bills she’s paying. She started working for Chick-fil-A to be financially responsible. In addition, befriending Taniguchi at work brought her out of her shell. This opportunity to meet new and different people has given her room to change.

"She’s changed my life so much and, I’m so glad I was the one who could change her life, too," Bridges said.

Pat Sorensen, Bridges' grandmother, said she has always been kind. She remembers Hailey handing out bags of candy to people around Christmastime and serving her meals with a sign that said, "meal made with love."

"She’s a very good girl," Sorensen said. "I was just so happy when she got the job at Chick-fil-A, because that just seemed to brighten her right up. She loves that job, and she loves the people she works with. And, she’s just like a different person."

While working at Chick-fil-A, Taniguchi has brightened the lives of those around her. But, she began feeling guilty asking for rides from co-workers. Now that she has a car, she’s grateful to have so much more freedom.

"Working at Chick-fil-A is the best decision I've made in my life so far," Taniguchi said.

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