Recently, Jake Stitt, 17, and his father Tim, from Morristown, Tennessee, had begun crowdfunding to raise enough money to purchase the adaptable van to make their lives a little easier.
After the fundraiser was boosted by actor Michael Abbott, Jr, who told WJHL that Stitt is a “celebrity” in the Tennessee town, the family was able to raise more than $35,000 for the van.
However, the Stitts will now be able to put the money raised towards care and medical expenses for the teen, as Timberlake stepped in and purchased the van himself for Jake ahead of Thanksgiving.
“It’s my pleasure,” the singer told the teen and his father during a Zoom call on Wednesday. “Like I said, I heard there was a goal to try to get this van before Thanksgiving. I heard your story and saw a little news clip about it.
“I was so moved that I want you guys to have this van,” Timberlake, who is also from Tennessee, continued. “I’m going to cover all the costs. I want you guys to have a great holiday. You inspire me, Jake.”
In addition to covering the cost of the van, the Grammy winner also incorporated the 17-year-old’s love of Alabama football into the vehicle with a red Alabama decal pasted onto the side.
The wheelchair-accessible van was delivered on Wednesday complete with a red bow.
As for the family’s reaction to the generous gift, Tim told WJHL the van is going to make life “so much easier”.
The family raised $35k to cover the cost of the van but they’ll get to keep that money. Why?? Because @jtimberlake heard Jake’s story and wanted to help. He got the family the van, and even hopped on Zoom to chat with the 17 year old. The reaction says it all folks pic.twitter.com/4WGVGd4VSb
— Sam Luther (@SamLuther_) November 25, 2020
“It’s going to make his life much easier as we go into our future and it’s going to make my life a lot easier because there’s not many people that can lift him up and sit him in a van like he needs,” he said of the impact the van will have on his son’s life. “It’s going to make our lives so much easier because of the independence he’s going to have as a young man now.”
On social media, the act of kindness prompted an outpouring of support, with many thanking Timberlake for the gesture.
“Huge shout out to @jtimberlake. What you did brought some much needed happiness & joy, which this world needs the most right now,” one person wrote on Twitter.
Another said: “This is so wholesome. Thank you for showing humanity still exists in these crazy times.”