Fort Worth elementary teachers give student’s struggling family a car

A Fort Worth family gets the holiday help they needed to get back on the road.

Zion Brister is in pre-k at Woodway Elementary in Fort Worth. His family's car recently broke down, leaving the family without transportation to get to work and school.

Zion's parents were going to have to temporarily pull him out of school — until one of Zion's teachers saw a way to help.

The 4-year-old’s parents sent a message to his teacher, Jana McElwrath, that they would have to pull him out of school because they couldn't get transportation and Zion is too young to ride the bus.

“As a teacher, I sunk because I love these students like they're my own,” the pre-k teacher said. “So it broke me I was going to lose one of my babies.”

The family's only truck broke down about two months ago. Zion’s parents have been using ride-share companies to get around and sometimes walking several miles to and from work.

“We lost some jobs because we couldn't get transportation,” said Zion’s father, Antoine Brister. “Taking Lyft, it became expensive. But we had to make sure they could go to school.”

Zion's teacher started a GoFundMe to help the family, but a coworker had another idea.

“When she posted it, I was thinking about donating to the GoFundMe account,” said Shaina Clayton, a fourth-grade teacher at Woodway. “I kind of was like, ‘We have this car we don't drive.’ I contacted my mom and she said, ‘Yes, I would be more than willing and happy to give it to that family that needs it.’”

Clay was about to give the family the car on Wednesday.

“Teachers have amazing hearts, and that's what we're here to do,” Clayton said. “We're here to help the students in any way, not just academics and the social, outside of the classroom.”

“Trust God,” Antoine said. “When it gets hard and you want to give up, you're down on your luck and you don't have enough money and your faith is little, just have that faith and that mustard seed to keep pushing.”

The family says the car has already been a great help getting the kids to school and getting the parents to job interviews. They say this has already made their Christmas.