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story.lead_photo.caption Maria Elena Barragan sitting in the vehicle that was gifted to her from the customers

A waitress at Abuelo’s Mexican Restaurant in Rogers credits divine intervention after two regulars gave her a brand new car as a tip.

Maria Elena Barragan said she had just finished serving restaurant regulars David Harrison and his wife, Shelia Harrison, on Aug. 2 when her manager told her the couple wanted to talk to her before they left.

“I got scared at first because I thought I was in trouble,” she said. “They pulled up some seats at the table and told me how much they appreciated and loved me and then they presented me with a gift bag.”

Inside the bag, she found papers to a 2019 Buick Encore in her name.

“I told Mr. David Harrison that I couldn’t accept it that it was too much and he said ‘Elena it is because God led me to do it,’” Barragan said. “I didn’t take it as a tip. I took it as a gift from God.”

Maria Elena Barragan was gifted a car by restaurant regulars David Harrison and his wife, Shelia Harrison
Maria Elena Barragan was gifted a car by restaurant regulars David Harrison and his wife, Shelia Harrison

After her double shift at work, Barragan quickly called her kids and told them to meet her in the parking lot because they were going to McDonalds.

“They were like, 'But Mom it’s late and we already ate' so I told them we were getting shakes and to meet me out there,” she said.

Barragan’s previous vehicle was a 2005 Trailblazer, so when she drove home in a 2019 Buick Encore it sent her kids for a loop.

“They thought they were getting kidnapped,” she said with a laugh. “When I stepped out of the vehicle they couldn’t believe it. They thought something had happened to the old car and that it was a rental or something. They thought I was kidding. My kids are still in shock.”


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Archived Comments

  • RevHog1
    August 9, 2019 at 4:42 p.m.

    I pray more will LISTEN to the 'Good God's voice and obey. God's desire is for us to make things better for each other - in His Name. For His Glory. Bless this couple; bless the receiving person and her Family. Now, she has to pass it on - in some way - lead by the 'Voice of God.

  • RBBrittain
    August 9, 2019 at 4:48 p.m.

    Alas, by giving it to her as a tip they also likely gave her a huge bill from the IRS.

  • 0boxerssuddenlinknet
    August 9, 2019 at 7:31 p.m.

    what a wonderful thing for that couple to do ! Bless them.

  • PopMom
    August 9, 2019 at 8:02 p.m.


    The gift tax is paid by the donor. Since they are a couple, they get $30,000 before taxes accrue and they may have a lifetime exemption anyway.

  • PopMom
    August 9, 2019 at 8:31 p.m.

    And the lifetime gift tax exemption for a married couple is now $23 million, so maybe nobody is paying a gift tax here unless this couple has been making gifts out the wazoo, and in that case, they can afford it. Kudos to them for making this gift!

  • MS6321
    August 10, 2019 at 9:06 a.m.

    God bless the givers and the recipient! Anyone who says, "well, that couple could afford to give away a new car" needs to assess what they, themselves, can share with others, and then do it!

  • HogFanCalChapter
    August 18, 2019 at 1:09 p.m.

    There are grateful people in this world...
    wish more were.

  • UoABarefootPhdFICYMCA
    August 18, 2019 at 1:30 p.m.

    giving free cars to random people you think are oppressed versus considering the reality of oppression.
    trad cucks are idiots.

  • UoABarefootPhdFICYMCA
    August 18, 2019 at 1:32 p.m.

    "those who give, do not do so in the street glancing from side to side for your reward."
    really dont even bother trying to chastise me for saying what I said. we have homeless everywhere.
    now here is one more freebie for a certain type of APPEARING "righteous".