A fundraiser started by a woman to raise money for a homeless veteran who spent his last $20 to help her when she ran out of gas in Philadelphia has reached more than $80,000 as of Wednesday.
Kate McClure, 27, of Bordentown, New Jersey, was driving into Philadelphia on Interstate-95 last month to visit a friend when her car ran out of gas, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
“I pulled over as far as I could, and got out of the car to head to the nearest gas station. That’s when I met Johnny,” McClure wrote on the GoFundMe raising money for the man. “He told me to get back in the car and lock the doors. A few minutes later, he comes back with a red gas can (and) his last 20 dollars to make sure I could get home safe.”
According to the Inquirer, McClure learned the man was Johnny Bobbitt Jr., 34, of the Raleigh, North Carolina, area. He was an ammunition technician in the Marines.
A friend in North Carolina who had been close to Bobbitt told the Inquirer he has a “good heart,” was a talented paramedic and was smart enough to become a doctor. Unfortunately, Bobbitt fell on hard times due to drug and money problems.
Bobbitt has been homeless in Philadelphia for a year and a half.
McClure said she did not have money to pay Bobbitt back the night he helped her. But she returned to the spot where he sits several times offering him a few dollars or supplies each time.
McClure wrote on GoFundMe of Bobbitt’s character:
“One day I stopped to see him and had a few things in a bag to give him, one of which was a box of cereal bars so he could have something that he could carry around and eat. He was very appreciative as usual and the first thing he said was ‘do you want one?’ Another time I dropped off 2 wawa gift cards and a case of water.. the first words that came out of his mouth were ‘I can’t wait to show the guys’ (there are 2 others he hangs out with and they all take care of each other). If just those 2 statements alone do not give you a glimpse of the good heart this man has I’m not sure anything will.”
Then McClure decided to go a step further to help Bobbitt. She started a GoFundMe for him, hoping to raise money for rent, a reliable vehicle and four to six months’ worth of expenses. She said he is very interested in finding a job.
“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,” McClure wrote.
By Wednesday afternoon, the GoFundMe had raised more than $83,000; McClure and Bobbitt’s story has also since gone viral, appearing on numerous websites throughout the country.