EARLY — John Stanley said he and his wife, Brandi, have been blessed in the business they’ve run in Early since November 2014 — Big J Auto Sales on Gorman Drive.
    “Because we’ve been so blessed in this business, I wanted to give something back to somebody,” Stanley said.
    And they did.
    The Stanleys gave a 2004 Chevrolet Impala that had come onto the car lot as a trade-in to Tasha Pippin of Early, a single mom who’d been struggling to find the money to buy a car. Pippin, a convenience store clerk, had been on foot or begging rides for some time, Stanley said.
    The Stanleys drove the car to the Cousins convenience store, where Pippin works, the evening of July 8 and gave her the keys. Pippin cried with gratitude, Brandi Stanley cried and John got a little emotional too.
    Pippin hadn’t asked for a thing, the Stanleys said.
    Several other businesses made donations to make sure some repairs were made to the car before the Stanleys gave it away.
      Dwayne Hardeman of Dwayne’s Automotive donated labor and parts to repair the air conditioner and an inoperative power window. Discount Tires installed new tires, and Auto Zone donated items including floor mats. Express Lube changed the oil, checked fluids and issued an inspection sticker. The Stanleys detailed the car.
    Stanley said he got to know Pippin through one of Pippin’s co-workers. He knew she’d been trying to buy a car, and Stanley figured if a repossessed car ended up on the lot, “I’d try to get her in it. Then the Impala came along. It was sitting there. It needed just a little bit to be a nice car.”
    Stanley’s initial plan was to sell her the Impala for $500. He planned to make the purchase as easy as possible for her: nothing down and low monthly payments.
    “Why don’t you give it to her?” a neighbor asked.
    “That’s a good idea,” Stanley replied.
    On Thursday, July 7, Pippin talked to Stanley, unaware of Stanley’s plan. “What can we do to get me in a car?” Pippin asked.
    “I’ve got that figured out,” Stanley told her. “Don’t worry about it.”
    Stanley then told a stunned Pippin that the car was hers.
    The next morning — Friday, July 8 — Stanley woke up and followed his morning routine of coffee and Fox News. He knew this was car day for Pippin. And when Stanley watched the news reports of the previous night’s sniper attack on Dallas police, he was extra-determined.
    “Friday was the icing on the cake,” Stanley said. “I wanted to do something positive that day — to make a positive impact that day. That prompted me to make sure that happened that day … to-day.
    “We took the car up there and she immediately started crying.”
    Brandi Stanley said she felt good about what she and her husband had done because “here was somebody trying to improve her life. She didn’t ask for anything.”
    The Stanleys said Pippin told them she’d been praying for a car, and John had heard stories about Pippin’s generosity to others in need.
    “It was just the right thing at the right time,” John Stanley said. “It was just right.”
    Brandi Stanley said Big J Auto sales is named in honor of her late grandfather, Jack Alley, a Brownwood car dealer who died in 1994.
    Pippin, reached by phone Friday, said she was ill and not up to being interviewed. Pippin was able to make a brief comment about her car.
    “It’s great,” Pippin said.