Happy feet: Kansas deputies gift van to woman walking nearly 6 miles to work

OTTAWA, Kan. — A Kansas woman has a new ride and a ton of errands to run after a sheriff’s deputy took her unusual situation to heart.

Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy Evan Macklin told KMBC that his office received several calls from citizens concerned about a woman walking down the highway.

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“It wasn’t warm out. We got called out there just to check welfare, to make sure she was OK,” he said.

What he learned after locating and speaking with the woman turned the welfare check into a mission, though.

Christine Wheeler had been walking nearly six miles to work, four days a week.

“I came back to the office and talked to my shift about if there was anything we could do for her,” Macklin told the TV station. “It really made me want to help her because she was doing it for her kids.”

On Tuesday, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office presented Wheeler with a free van, complete with insurance and taxes paid for one year. The deputies also filled the vehicle with winter coats, food and holiday gifts and installed two car seats for her twin sons.

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“I was in tears. I was shocked. I was like, ‘What?’” Wheeler told KMBC.

“I can finally, like, take my kids to the park. I can go shopping, get food. … I want to say, ‘Thank you guys so much.’ This means the world to me,” she added.