A woman has helped raise more than $370,000 for a homeless veteran she says used his last $20 to get her gas so that she could get home after becoming stranded on an interstate near Philadelphia earlier this year.
Kate McClure was driving down I-95 when she ran out of gas. In a panic, she got out of her car and headed for the nearest gas station when she met Johnny Bobbitt, a homeless veteran, according to her GoFundMe.
Bobbitt told McClure to lock her car doors and wait for him until he returned. Bobbitt came back with a full red gas can and used up his last $20 to buy her gas.
“Johnny did not ask me for a dollar, and I couldn’t repay him at that moment because I didn’t have any cash,” she wrote on her GoFundMe for Bobbitt.
Over the course of the next few weeks, she gave Bobbitt a jacket, gloves, a hat, socks, cereal bars and water. She also gave him a few dollars each time she saw him.
However, McClure wanted to do more, so two weeks ago she set up a GoFundMe for Bobbitt in an effort to raise $10,000 so she could “get him first and last month’s rent at an apartment, a reliable vehicle, and 4-6 months worth of expenses,” according to the GoFundMe.
“He is very interested in finding a job, and 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,” she wrote.
The story has since gone viral and more than $370,000 has been raised for Bobbitt since Monday afternoon.
“This changes my life right there,” Bobbitt said in a video posted to the GoFundMe.
“The second we told Johnny about this, his first thought was to pay it forward,” McClure wrote. “He is fully aware of the worldwide interest in this over the last few days. It will be his decision and his decision only on what organizations and or private parties he decides to help.”
Bobbitt is a North Carolina native who studied nursing and was a former paramedic and firefighter. Bobbitt also served in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Bobbitt was checked into a hotel last week and was given money to get new contact lenses.
“This money was given to help me. Why not help other people in similar situations or people that are actively helping other people in different situations,” he told ABC News.
“Everybody out there is facing some kind of struggle, so if I can touch their life, the way mine was touched, [it’d be] an amazing feeling,” Bobbitt said. “I want to feel the feeling on the opposite end.”