A Restaurant Owner Donates Over 60 Vehicles to Underprivileged Families in Rural South Carolina Community

Eliot Middleton, a South Carolina restaurant owner and former auto mechanic, made news this summer when it was revealed that he had given away more than 30 second-hand cars to needy individuals in his rural McClellanville hamlet that he had personally fixed.

Since then, the mechanic has continued his efforts, even hosting a holiday gift.

When news of Middleton’s good deeds spread around the country in June, dozens of previously owned cars were donated to the restaurant so he could provide rides to others who didn’t have access to reliable transportation.

When CBS News checked in on Middleton earlier this month, they discovered that he had given away more than 60 cars of various types, including 12 in December for the “12 Days of Christmas.” Many of the recipients were job seekers, single parents, and elderly people who needed transportation to doctor’s appointments and other errands.

“You have no idea how much this means to me,” Aziare Green, a single mother who received one of Middleton’s repaired automobiles, a 2006 Honda civic, told the network.

I’m usually having to wait and borrow people’s automobiles.” Middleton said, “I’m really delighted we were able to help.”

“There’s a dearth of transportation in the rural areas, and I realized I could use my previous knowledge in mechanics to help,” the co-owner of Middleton & Maker Village BBQ told the Washington Post earlier this summer about what drove him to start repairing and giving away automobiles.

Middleton witnessed numerous families without vehicles walking more than four miles on foot to eat a hot supper during a food drive he held nearly two years ago.

So, in January 2020, he invited the community to donate junk automobiles in return for slabs of barbecued ribs in a Facebook post. “So, I just had an idea…. Instead of junking a car with potential, if you don’t really need the money, consider donating it to Middleton’s Village Barbecue!!!” he wrote. “We would like to help folks in need of transportation in rural areas that don’t have bus transit or taxi cabs or even Uber!!!!” he added.

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