WKYT - Lexington - Headlines

Man carries sign and smile for local car wash

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - You've probably seen him out at Richmond Road and New Circle. He holds the sign for Mr. Sparkle, a popular car wash in Lexington. He's hard to miss, and his story is one you won't forget.

He stands, five days a week, at one of the loudest intersections in town. Doesn't take long to realize he's the reason for the noise! He's a walking ad for a local car wash. Spreading good will and gratitude.

"Just thank God I'm able to work, because I was homeless one time before I came here," says Derald, "don't give up. There's always hope around the corner."

Derald knows every person he waves to has a past. His past is one he doesn't talk about. He doesn't even like to give his last name.

"Just when you think there's no hope, there is hope. There is hope. Like in the Bible they always talk about God always give you a way to escape, just open your eyes. I never became depressed or anything. I just kept doing what I thought I was supposed to do, just go out and look for jobs. And I knew that one would come."

Actions in his past led to homelessness, and he ended up sleeping beside an intersection far different than the one where he now works.

"Man came up to me at the bible study told me they was hiring at Mr. Sparkle. Said, 'do you want to go?', I said, 'yes. It's a job'.

Derald spent days looking for a job, and nights looking for a place to sleep inside the Community Inn.

"It was cold when I started. That line would be so long, I'd be way up past the stairs. I knew I was getting in, so just had to be patient."

His patience paid off. People still remember Derald as the man who wouldn't stop searching for a job. Derald hasn't had to sleep at the Community Inn for about a year now. He's got a car, a place of his own, and a job.

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