Keith Wymma Witherspoon learned from his mama that if you know good, you should do good. If you don’t do good, then it’s a sin.
Witherspoon, 62, of Holden said Monday that the teaching was one of the reasons he decided to give back the car he was given last year with the help of the Holden Police Department now that he’s on his feet and was able to buy a newer car.
“This is about paying it forward,” Witherspoon, who recently bought a 2019 Subaru Outback, said. “My mama always said, ‘It’s nice to share.’”
The 2014 Subaru Outback that he’s been driving since May 6, 2022, now belongs to Dale Fox, 69, of Weston. Fox got a ride down Monday morning to pick up the car from Witherspoon at the Holden police station.
“I live in the middle of nowhere,” Fox, whose car was demolished March 23 in a wreck, said. “Now that I have a car, I’m going to make my appointments, go visit my kids and friends, but I’m not going to tell you what we’re going to do.”
The men are both U.S. Navy veterans but had not met each other before.
Last year, Witherspoon was down on his luck when the transmission needed to be replaced on his car at a cost of $5,000. He turned to then Holden Police Chief Chris Greeley, who reached out to the Maine Veterans Project.
The day before Greeley spoke with Shawn “Doc” Goodwin, president of the Maine Veterans Project, the organization had received the car as a donation from a New Jersey man, who summers in York. The man, who meticulously cares for his vehicles, gives them up after the odometer reaches 200,000 miles, according to Goodwin.
Witherspoon put another 40,000 miles on the car but Fox is happy to see if he can keep it going another 60,000 miles.
Greeley, who founded the town’s successful 25 Days of Kindness program, died suddenly on March 9. The new chief, Eduardo Benjamin, Greeley’s deputy, has vowed to carry on the program in his memory.
Witherspoon said that getting the car “was a blessing” and allowed him to get back on his feet. He now works as a security guard at Husson University.
Fox said that his case manager with the Veterans Administration passed his name along to Goodwin and the Holden police.
Benjamin gave Fox $200 from the 25 Days of Kindness fund so he had enough money to register the car.
“It feels right to carry the torch,” Benjamin said Monday.