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The internet has rallied around one homeless veteran who gave up the last of his cash to help a woman get home safely.
On her GoFundMe page for 34-year-old Johnny Bobbitt Jr., Kate McClure from Florence, New Jersey, wrote she was driving into Philadelphia one evening a few weeks ago when she ran out of gas. After pulling to the side of the road and proceeding to walk to the closest gas station, she met Bobbitt, a homeless Marine Corps veteran, who told her the area wasn’t safe.
Bobbitt told her to get back into her car and lock her doors, and he used his last $20 to go to the station and purchase her a can of gas.
Since then, McClure, 27, has stopped by Bobbitt’s spot on the side of the road several times with cash or supplies for the veteran, but she wanted to return Bobbitt’s kindness tenfold. McClure created a crowdfunding page for Bobbitt on Nov. 10 with a goal of $10,000, which so far raised more than $235,000 for apartment rent, a car, and months of expenses.
“I wish that I could do more for this selfless man, who went out of his way just to help me that day. He is such a great guy, and talking to him each time I see him makes me want to help him more and more,” McClure wrote on GoFundMe. “He is very interested in finding a job, and I believe that with a place to be able to clean up every night and get a good night’s rest, his life can get back to being normal. [I] truly believe that all Johnny needs is one little break.”
On Nov. 16, McClure shared a YouTube video of she and her boyfriend Mark D’Amico telling Bobbitt about the GoFundMe campaign. At that point, McClure wrote they had yet to reach their original $10,000 goal, but in the past week Bobbitt’s story has gone viral, garnering donations and vocal support from nearly 8,000 donors.
According to McClure’s updates, Bobbitt, a former firefighter and paramedic, had asked her to stop accepting donations on the GoFundMe page on Nov. 23, Thanksgiving Day, and suggested that those who want to donate could search for another noteworthy cause to donate to.
Upon sharing the update, however, McClure received pushback from people wanting the campaign to be left open. Bobbitt said he didn’t want to seem that he’s taking advantage, but he expressed he wanted to share the campaign funds in other ways.
“For the short time that we took [the campaign] down, though, it is obvious that people still want to donate to this cause. He said that he has more than a few ideas of where this money can go, which he will explain more in detail [in a video we will share] tonight,” McClure wrote. “You guys continue to amaze us.”
H/T Associated Press
Samantha Grasso is a former IRL staff writer for the Daily Dot with a reporting emphasis on immigration. Her work has appeared on Los Angeles Magazine, Death And Taxes, Revelist, Texts From Last Night, Austin Monthly, and she has previously contributed to Texas Monthly.