Kate McClure and her boyfriend Mark D’Amico from New Jersey met a homeless man and former Marine who they will remember for the rest of their lives.
One day, the woman was stranded without gas on the Interstate 95 outside of Philadelphia and didn’t have any cash or credit cards on her. Luckily, a homeless man named Johnny was more than willing to help.
Even though he barely had anything for himself, he spent his last twenty dollars buying gas for Kate.
Kate was immensely touched and felt miserable that she wasn’t able to give him anything in that moment but passed by several times since they met. She now wants to repay him in epic fashion.
“Johnny did not ask me for a dollar, and I couldn’t repay him at that moment because I didn’t have any cash, but I have been stopping by his spot for the past few weeks,” Kate recalls.
“I repaid him for the gas, gave him a jacket, gloves, a hat, and warm socks, and I give him a few dollars every time I see him. 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,” she added.
Kate and her boyfriend Mark launched a crowdfunding campaign on GoFundMe to make sure Johnny could have a better future and life. Kate wanted to raise the amount of $10,000 so that the veteran could pay rent for an apartment, perhaps get a car and cover for a few months of expenses.
When the story about Johnny and Kate went viral, the crowdfunded amount quickly exceeded the goal of ten thousand dollars.
In fact, over 14,000 different people have raised $393,999 in just twenty days.
The homeless man was later identified as the 34-year-old Johnny Bobbitt Jr, who also worked as a paramedic aside from being an ex-Marine. One of Johnny’s friends said in an interview with Philadelphia Inquirer that Johnny got into this situation because of drug abuse and financial issues and also mentioned that Johnny has been homeless for a year and a half.
“Yeah, tell me about bad luck. But don’t get me wrong. I’m here because of my own decisions. I got nobody to blame but myself,” Johnny said according to the couple.
Johnny himself has posted an update on the crowdfunding page and wanted to thank everyone sincerely.
“I have been wanting to say a few things. First off, I would like to apologize for just now doing this. I am deeply humbled and so incredibly grateful for the attention and love that I have received thus far. I am amazed at how many positive comments and messages that not only I but Mark and Kate have also received. I was honestly worried at first because I was embarrassed of my situation. I realized that this attention did not only affect me but my family as well. Boy, don’t I wish I would learned earlier in life that our actions do not always affect just ourselves as we just to make ourselves believe. I was scared that people would try to take a good situation or moment and look for the worst. Which of course some people absolutely did try. However, for the most part the feedback has been absolutely amazing and encouraging.
I will never be able to put into words how I feel and all the emotions I have felt because of this experience. I wish I was able to meet and thank each and every single one of you that have donated to my campaign. I plan to one day go through and send a message to every person that I am able to contact. I feel as though you believe in me as cliché as that sounds. You made a donation for me to turn my life around and trusted me to make right decisions for my future. I will not let you down and I plan to keep my Facebook updated in the future if anyone cares to see how I will have turned my life around! Thanks again, JBJ”
Kate also said that Johnny won’t be taking the full amount of the raised money and will donate a significant portion of it to a good cause.
What an amazing way to pay it forward!