Justin Timberlake Donates Wheelchair-Accessible Van to Teen with Cerebral Palsy
Justin Timberlake was able to make the holidays extra special this year for a Tennessee teenager living with cerebral palsy.
17-year-old Jake Stitt — who lives with cerebral palsy — received a much-needed, generous gift from the superstar: a wheelchair-accessible van.
Jake’s Dad, Tim, along with other family members and friends, were trying to raise enough money to fund the van – mainly to enhance Jake’s quality of life.
Actor, Michael Abbott Jr., was the first one to promote Jake’s fundraiser, telling WJHL news that Jake is known as a “celebrity,” around town.
Congratulations,you did it!
Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.
Thank you all. You made a big difference in someone’s life this week. That should feel good. Happy Thanksgiving. @JoshSmithWJHL @GwendolynGabs @robinWBIR pic.twitter.com/qj5l10Xbdc
— Michael Abbott Jr. (@mykabit) November 24, 2020
“Jake sits outside the house and has a sign that says ‘honk if you’re happy,’” Abbott told the outlet. “He’s an incredible young man.”
Justin Timberlake gives back
The story eventually caught the attention of Timberlake, who was moved by the story and took action by covering the costs of the van.
“It’s my pleasure,” Timberlake, 39, told Jake and his dad, Tim, over a Zoom call. “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,” he added. “I’m going to cover all the costs. I want you guys to have a great holiday. You inspire me, Jake.”
Jake’s dad, a military veteran, told WJHL that after several years of lifting Jake into a regular van, he has suffered back issues and also now lives with a slight disability.
“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,” Tim told the outlet. “It’s going to make our lives so much easier because of the independence he’s going to have as a young man now.”
And as for Jake’s reaction to the surprise?
Well, we think the joyous screams speak for him just fine, but Jake did tell news outlets that “It was a blessing and God bless.” Thank you Justin Timberlake for donating such a special and life-changing gift. And congrats on the new wheels, Jake. There is no doubt that you are destined for greatness.