An outpouring of the unexpected


FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) — A Franklin County deputy and student resource officer gave a mother the surprise of a lifetime.

By giving her a big gift, and something she says she needed more than anything at the time.

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“I just really can’t do anything but thank the Lord for Officer Saunier because I’ve been through literally so much within the last couple of months,” says Vanee Coleman.

Coleman has been down on her luck after her car broke down recently in her daughter’s school drop-off line.

That’s where she met school resource Officer Joe Saunier.

“He was generous enough to rush to my rescue to help me jump my battery for my car,” she says.

But that was only the beginning of his care and kindness. Girst, he bought her a new battery and alternator but that didn’t fix the problem. In fact it became clear, nothing was going to fix it. Its days were over.

“Definitely flabbergasted because I don’t know anybody that would just give anybody a vehicle,” says Coleman.

Officer Saunier gave her a car. A 1995 Grand Marquis he had been fixing up.

“It was just kind of sitting there not being used so I thought wait, they need it,” says Officer Joe Saunier.

He surprised her at work.

“He just gave me a car so I was trying to process what was going on because I was like okay I don’t know how to.. just speechless,” says Coleman.

“She just couldn’t believe it at first and I think she still can’t. I think she’s just still kinda like did this happen but it really did,” says Saunier.

Officer Saunier knows first-hand the difference people can make in others lives because when he needed help years ago with his son Ryan who had Cystic Fibrosis, support from the community poured in.

He lost his son in 2005.

“Now that we can give back we do. It’s just kind of become a thing it’s like therapy for me. Gets me through what all I’ve seen over the years,” says Saunier.

“I’m just helping out. Just helping somebody who needed help. And in return one day they may turn around and do the same thing,” he says.

And that’s his hope, by paying it forward, others will do the same.

“So I look forward to a day when I can be able to bless somebody like that in need. So yeah,” says Coleman.

There is a joy in Joe Saunier and Vanee Coleman that even circumstances can’t steal.

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Christy Bollinger joined the ABC 36 news team as a reporter in March 2018. Christy comes from a little western Kentucky town called Cadiz. She graduated from Western Kentucky University in May 2017 with degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Criminology. Christy is thrilled to be working at her dream job in her home state. She is passionate about storytelling and you can see her weekdays on ABC 36 News at 5 and 6 p.m. She's covered everything from visits from the sitting president and vice president, to high-profile murder cases. When not chasing stories, Christy loves nothing more than being at the beach and says life is just better with sand between your toes and waves crashing at your feet. She is also a big animal lover. She's a fur momma and her mini-Australian Shepherd, Milly, standard Australian Shepherd, Bennie, and her Maine Coon, Cheeto, are the loves of her life. Christy encourages you to send her any story ideas you may have. Find her on Facebook at Christy Bollinger ABC 36, tweet her @ChristyB_news, or email her at