James Robertson, the Detroit man whose story blew up online this week, will soon receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations thanks to an inspired 19-year-old.
James Robertson, 56, became an Internet sensation when the story of his 21-mile daily commute started to spread online. Evan Leedy, a college student in Detroit, was so inspired by Robertson’s story that he decided to start a GoFundMe page to help him.
“What he walks is like me walking to work every day and I honestly couldn’t believe that,” Leedy told ABC News. “I thought to myself, ‘What would I do if my car broke down?’ and I thought, ‘I have my parents and I have money to get an Uber.’ This guy doesn’t have that and he didn’t quit.”
Leedy says the donations page was originally set up just to help Robertson get money for bus fare and cabs, but after word started to spread, he decided to increase the goal, and now, the donations are nearing $300,000.
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Since the page was set up, Leedy says they’ve already received other generous donations, including offers to give Robertson a car from both Honda’s corporate office as well as local car dealership Rodgers Chevrolet.
“We are in a position that we can help and we just want to pay it forward,” Angela Osborne of Rodgers Chevrolet said. “His story really struck home.”
Since the story of Robertson’s treacherous commute broke, the 56-year-old has become a viral sensation, and Leedy says he knows the money raised will be put to good use.
“I want to talk to James first and know what his needs are,” Leedy said. “It’s not my money or my choice. I’m just facilitating the whole thing.”