A woman raised over $171,000 for a homeless veteran after he spent the last $20 he had to help her purchase gas.
Kate McClure, a 27-year-old New Jersey woman, was driving into Philadelphia to visit a friend when her car started running out of gas. She pulled onto an exit ramp but reportedly ran out just as she got to the bottom.
"My heart was beating out of my chest," she told The Philadelphia Inquirer. "I didn’t know what the heck to do." The woman called her boyfriend, 38-year-old Mark D'Amico, and asked him to come get her. Suddenly, a homeless man appeared and offered to help.
The man, known at the time only as Johnny, told McClure to lock her doors and stay in the car and that he'd be back with some gas. He reportedly spent his last $20 to purchase gas a few blocks away from where she was.
"Ten minutes later," D'Amico said, "she called me and said the guy brought her gas."
McClure didn't have any cash to repay the man at the time, but she promised to return and he trusted her word. She returned and paid him back, and then continued to return, giving him a few dollars at a time. She and her boyfriend also began to learn about his background.
The man's name is Johnny Bobbit Jr., a 34-year-old Marine ammunition technician who later trained to be a paramedic and aspired to become a flight nurse. Drugs and money issues, however, led to Bobbit becoming homeless in Philadelphia.
The couple said they couldn't stop thinking about Bobbit, and decided to see if they could help him out. They launched a GoFundMe page to raise money for him and ultimately raised more than $170,000 in just 12 days. D'Amico and McClure said they'd manage the funds to get him an apartment and pay for his food, clothes and phone. Bobbit expressed interest in working at the Amazon warehouse in Robbinsville, New Jersey, because they provided health benefits.
"He knows where he’s at and he knows what he has to do to dig himself out," D'Amico said.
"It’s almost impossible to dig himself out if he has nobody and nothing. If we can raise enough money to set him up for a few months, where he doesn’t have to worry about where he’s going to sleep and what he’s going to eat, then he can get a job and go about his life."