SAN DIEGO, California — A cafeteria crusader whose selfless actions are well known to the students who love her got a special thank you at Hoover High School Monday. Her students gave her a car.
Debra Davis is everyone’s favorite lunch lady at the City Heights school.
“They call me Aunt Debbie,” Davis said. “I’m just a servant. I just love helping people."
For the last 26 years, Davis has served students in the San Diego Unified School District, most recently at Hoover High School. She still finds the time to cook for the homeless.
“I use my car to serve the people," Davis said. Her only problem is her mode of transportation.
“I call her, 'Transformer.' She is my 1976 Chevy Malibu," Davis laughed.
She calls it a classic but poor Transformer is more of a junker. Davis always had the Auto Club on speed dial.
“Come get the car, because the car stopped, the car needs a battery," she said.
When San Diego Unified partnered up with State Farm Insurance for the Recycled Rides program, Aunt Debbie was their top candidate.
State Farm donated a 2014 Mazda 3 to nearby Morse High school’s prestigious auto body program.
Morse is the only high shool in the state to have the National Automotive Technician Education Foundation certification, giving students a big edge when looking for jobs right out of high school.
For three weeks, students fixed up all the dents and scratches.
“They are showing off their skills of repairing, and at the same time, giving away to some of their work in the community," said auto body teacher Leonardo Zarate.
At the big reveal Monday morning, students saw that their hard work was well worth it.
Davis could not hold her emotion. She cried, she laughed, she jumped, even danced, as she gazed at her bright, new ride.
“I thank God that they see my spirit. So I want to tell them all thank you," Davis said. "No one has ever done anything like this for me. I thought I was going to get my heaven in heaven. But I got a little piece of heaven right here."
She now has about 40 years of car technology to catch up on, and the difficult task of naming her new serve-mobile.
“I don’t know what I’m going to call you, but 'Transformer' is going to be upset with you," she laughed, talking to her new ride.