Chandler Lacefield, 17, was thrilled when she received a brand new red Jeep Wrangler, the car she had always wanted, for her high school graduation this past June.
“I was so happy and surprised because I didn’t expect it,” Lacefield told ABC News. However, just two months later she traded in that car to purchase a cheaper car for her herself and another one for her best friend.
The friendship between MacKenzie Sterner, 17, and Lacefield blossomed during track season of Lacefield’s senior year at Weatherford High School in Weatherford, Texas. Lacefield described Sterner as a “hard worker and dedicated” friend.
Sterner was a junior and relied on her older friends for rides to track and cheerleading practice and nightly hangout sessions. For the year, Lacefield was content carpooling her best friend around while Sterner’s mother used the family’s only car for work.
After graduating high school, Lacefield traveled to Bali for a mission trip with her church group from the New River Fellowship Church in Hudson Oaks, where her mom works as a pastor. While in Bali, Lacefield had an epiphany one night sitting on the back porch of her hotel after visiting a children’s home. “God laid a hand on my heart that he wanted me to do something big, ” Lacefield said.
It wasn’t until she was driving home from the airport, her experiences from Bali still resonating with her, that she realized what she needed to do. She wanted to buy her friend a car.
Lacefield first approached her parents with her idea. They told her she would have to sacrifice her brand new Jeep in order to buy a cheaper car for herself and Sterner too.
“Honestly, I thought about not actually selling my Jeep and being selfish, but then I realized I needed to get Kenzie a car more than I needed to keep my Jeep,” Lacefield said.
Once at the car dealership, Lacefield struggled to find car dealers who would take her seriously. She settled on a 2002 Acura DMX for Sterner and a 2011 BMW 328 for herself.
“I had a lot of doubt. I was sad because I had to get rid of my Jeep,” Lacefield said. However, after revealing the new car to an unsuspecting Sterner, Lacefield admitted she was so glad she did it.
The girls continue to stay in touch and hang out regularly. Lacefield is currently a freshman at Weatherford College and Sterner just started her senior year.