Home Mexico Wheeling Attorney Gives His Car Away, Starts Walking | News, Sports, Jobs

Wheeling Attorney Gives His Car Away, Starts Walking | News, Sports, Jobs

Wheeling Attorney Gives His Car Away, Starts Walking | News, Sports, Jobs


photo by: Joselyn King

Maurice “Babe” Walker, left, thanks Jeff Parsons for gifting him a 2010 Honda CRV. Parsons, a federal prosecutor in Wheeling, is now walking to work each day from Woodsdale.

WHEELING — A federal prosecutor and volunteer at the Soup Kitchen of Greater Wheeling is now walking to work each day and doesn’t need a car.

So attorney Jeff Parsons passed along his white 2010 Honda CRV with 112,000 miles on it to Maurice “Babe” Walker, a cook at the soup kitchen.

It’s shiny and looks brand new now. But when Parsons had it, the vehicle had layers of grime and dirt on it and had probably never been washed, he admitted.

“I don’t get nice things, because I don’t take care of them. So I had it detailed,” Parsons said.

M&M Auto Detailing knew of his plans to donate the car, so they made extra effort to shine up and buff the car inside and outside. The rims were even painted to look like new.

Christ Community Church in Wheeling paid for the detailing.

“It was a mess because I never washed it. It was a $400 job,” Parsons said.

“I wanted this thing to shine for Babe when I gave it to him, but it was a mess. They made it beautiful.”

Parsons is employed as an assistant U.S. attorney at the Federal Building in downtown Wheeling, where he is the civil rights coordinator.

At lunch time each day, he walks from the Federal Building to the soup kitchen where he volunteers as a server.

“They’re great people,” he said. “I walk down here each day and it’s about five blocks. I’ve gotten to know Babe and the others well.

“In my job, I do a lot of fair housing and discrimination,” Parsons added. “I take a you-need-to-know-me-before-you-need-me kind of approach. I want them to know they can come to me if they are the victim of a hate crime, or unfairly kicked out of housing, because it’s my job.”

Parsons, who lives in Woodsdale, explained his health “is not great.” He is diabetic, and has blood pressure and cholesterol issues.

“I got my bloodwork and it was awful. So I thought, I’m going to start walking to work,” Parsons said. “It’s like two-and-a-half miles. There’s people who do that.”

He said that meant he was going to be leaving his car “sit in the driveway anyways.”

That’s when his brother, Matt Parsons, entered the picture – or rather ran through his subconscious.

Matt Parsons is a marathon runner. He was at the halfway point of a 100K marathon across Mexico to Puerto Vallarta when his wife texted Jeff Parsons and asked Jeff he if would send his brother words of support to help Matt make it to the finish line.

But Jeff Parsons didn’t want to send the same empty platitudes others might be texting.

“God popped the idea into my head,” he continued. “I thought if he (Matt) could run a 100K in one day, up and down mountains in 90-degree weather for 18 hours or more straight, then I can walk to work and back two-and-a-half miles each day. And I need the exercise, so I’m going to commit to this.”

Jeff Parsons promised his marathon runner brother if he finished the race across Mexico he would give away his car and start walking.

He noted his wife Mimi has the nicer car in the family. And if he ever needed one he could always borrow hers.

Matt Parsons did finish the 100K marathon in Mexico in about 18½ hours, according to Jeff Parsons.

He said he began to look for a person to whom to give his car, and he decided to ask Becky Shilling-Rodocker, executive director of the Soup Kitchen of Greater Wheeling, if she knew of someone.

And Shilling-Rodocker did. She told him Walker was without a car after the engine in his former vehicle died.

Walker called being gifted a car “a blessing.”

“I can take my kids to doctor’s appointments,” he said. “I have to take my son to Morgantown (for medical exams). It will get me around places.”

During the holidays, he said he will be able to take his children and girlfriend to visit her family in Charleston.

“Like I said, it’s a blessing and I can’t thank him enough,” Walker said.

He let Parsons know if he ever needs a lift, he knows he can always call him for assistance.

“I got you covered, bro,” he told him.

Yes, Parsons does wear a tie to work each day as a federal assistant prosecutor, and sometimes he needs a suit jacket when he must appear in court. He said he will keep a jacket in the office, and also switch his foot attire from athletic shoes to dress shoes when he arrives.

“I’ve been walking in my work clothes and my work shoes, and It hasn’t been working out,” he said. “I sweat because I’m out of shape.”

There is also another problem that could come up while he is walking, and it could be the “Achilles heel” to his walking plan.

“Two years ago I was bitten by a shark down in South Carolina,” Parsons said. “It tore up my Achilles pretty bad, so I have minor issues walking long distances.”

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