By on January 2, 2015


It’s an American tradition to help the less fortunate around the winter holidays. After the bell rings for New Year’s, however, many people who need assistance find themselves out in the cold. This weekend, the founder of Gearbox is trying to help a homeless veteran who needs a car — but not for the reason you’d suspect.

Janitor John moved to Phoenix with his roommate, a fellow military veteran…. John let it slip to us that he was living in a car. Everyone on the team here at the office was surprised… John wakes up in the morning, parked behind a grocery store (they’ve asked the manager’s permission), cleans up best he can (with wet naps), and walks over to Starbucks. They spend their days there sipping the cheapest coffee they can get, so they can be inside (where it’s warm), keep their phones charged, and look for jobs online… He’s contacted the local VA. They told him to go to a homeless shelter, which would be fine, except it’s on the far side of town, you have to check in at 6AM to “get a bunk with the crazies,” as he puts it, and there’s no bus service available from work to the shelters when he gets off work at 1AM… He’s contacted Wounded Warrior Project and Operation Homefront. Both have told him their #1 priority is wounded and recently returning combat veterans. John is adamant this SHOULD be their priority. Unfortunately, he’s been told it’s about a 2-3 year wait for help from them otherwise.

Brian and the rest of the Gearbox crew want to buy John a car that he can use as a bedroom and a way to get to his job. They figure they can make something happen for $1100. I’ve contributed, and you can too. Furthermore, I’ll send any member of the B&B who puts $75 or more in, starting now, a TTAC Racing T-shirt at my expense. Just post below that you’ve done it and I’ll contact you to arrange it. Warning: you might not get to pick the size. :)

Thanks for reading, and for caring — JB

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17 Comments on “Help The Guys At Gearbox Magazine Help Someone Who Needs It...”

  • avatar

    You’re a legend, Baruth. An absolute legend.

    Thank you!

  • avatar

    Brilliant. I’m in.

  • avatar
    Jason Lombard

    Sounds like a worthy cause. He served his country and he’s trying to take a step up. In my mind, he deserves our support. I’d never heard of these guys before this, but I’m now a subscriber.

    • 0 avatar

      Right on, Jason. That’s exactly what I was thinking when I started this thing last night. There are perhaps a million other ideas we could offer, but the simple fact of the matter is, by the end of next week, this guy will have no place to sleep and no way to get to work. And we’re not going to let that happen. No way. No how.

      Something I think is really cool about this, we’re all gearheads. We love the machines. We might not always be able to put our fingers on how, exactly, they make a positive impact on our lives, but we can feel it. I see this as a bunch of random gearheads from around the world saying to this guy, “You’re trying your best. You need a little help. We’re here to help.” And a friggin’ CAR (read: van/SUV – he needs room to stretch out, imo) is literally going to keep a guy from slipping into the abyss.


  • avatar

    He is better in a car than a shelter. My friend just told me a story about a guy in his platoon that now lives in a tent. When he asked his friend why he doesn’t live in a shelter, his friend said, “I need to avoid drugs and violence.”

    As a vet, I have plenty of friends that came home alive, but not well. I’m one of the lucky ones that doesn’t have to go to the VA, AA, or receive disability checks.

    Count me in for $75. Thank you Jack for doing a good thing because it’s a good thing. Hopefully this at least makes people think about helping the less fortunate and the veterans in their local community.

    • 0 avatar

      Agreed. Thank you, bball. Means a lot.

      We’re about to show a guy down on his luck that the universe still thinks he’s worth it. If that’s not a shot in the arm, I don’t know what is.


  • avatar


  • avatar

    From a veteran (Iraq and Afghanistan) and a current member of the US Army and a complete car guy, I’m in.

    I also appreciate the Vietnam sculpture in the photo. It is just across from the Vietnam veterans memorial in DC.

    • 0 avatar

      Word. Thank you, sir, for your service, for your support.

      I grew up in the Army and, even though dad retired back in 95, I still feel like the Army is family. Much respect. Much appreciation.

  • avatar
    87 Morgan


  • avatar
    Felis Concolor

    Considering how much I pay for my KRCC t-shirts, this is a very good bargain.

  • avatar

    I was touched by this story. I hate what war does to these guys. I put in $75 an put this thing over $2000.

  • avatar

    FINAL UPDATE: I suspect everyone who donated received an email advising the final outcome of this effort, but for the record, we ended up getting John a 1998 Suburban. 227k miles, doesn’t look like it’s leaked a drop of anything its entire life. It’s titled to him free and clear, tagged through September, and won’t need emissions until 2016.

    He was blown away. WE MADE A DIFFERENCE. Thanks, everyone. And thank you, Jack.

    • 0 avatar

      Thanks again for what you guys did for John. A ’98 Suburban can run forever in the desert southwest. Good choice. I hope the day that he received his truck was the day that turned it all around for him.

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