If you’ve ever run out of gas on a dark night, then you know how scary it can be. Even more so for a woman. When it happened to Kate McClure, she was stranded on I-95 in Philadelphia.
She started to walk to a nearby gas station off the road but was stopped by a homeless man. He insisted she stay in her car with the doors locked and wait. A while later, he returned with a gas can. This man spent his only $20 to buy her gas so she could make it home, and never asked for anything.
Johnny Bobbitt was Kate’s hero that night. She was so grateful that she returned with her boyfriend, Mark D’Amico, to repay him with money, food, and clothes. After several visits, the two decided they wanted to do more for him, so they set up a GoFundMe campaign where they shared his story.
As it turned out, Johnny is a vet. The 34-year-old gentleman is a former Marine who used to work as a paramedic and firefighter before falling on hard times. Kate and Mark initially set a goal of $10,000 with the intention of helping him find housing, transportation, and work.
In just two weeks, over $300,00 was raised, and that amount is now approaching $400,000! The attention was so overwhelming that Johnny asked for the fundraising to be stopped. People insisted on donating towards his cause, and it was later restarted.
But wait, Johnny doesn’t want to keep the money all for himself. In an interview with Good Morning America, he said he plans to pay it forward. Johnny wants to donate a large chunk of those funds to organizations that help those in need.
“I just got her gas to help her get back on her way. I didn’t think anything about it. I wasn’t expecting anything in return. That’s how I got the money to start with — from other people. [I had to] return the favor. I can’t constantly take and not give back.”
According to the latest update, he wants to land a job at a local Amazon warehouse and purchase his dream vehicle – a 1999 Ford Ranger. He never imagined that he’d go from living under a bridge in Philly to having his life changed from this small act of kindness.
GMA learned that he will be working with an attorney and financial advisor who will help him manage the funds and distribute them to the charities of his choice. Johnny has also thanked those who have taken the time to donate on his behalf.
To see the man at the center of this heartwarming story, click on the video below from GeoBeats. We wish the best for Johnny Bobbitt and his future and love the fact that he wants to pay it forward.
Neither he nor Kate realized where their short encounter would lead, but it’s amazing how far a little generosity and kindness can go. In this case, it’s life-changing.
Did this story make you tear up a bit? Have you ever had a similar experience with a stranger or homeless hero?