When a homeless veteran offered his last few dollars to buy a stranded woman some petrol, he could not have imagined the extent his good deed would be rewarded.
When 27-year-old Kate McClure’s car broke down in a dangerous area of Philadelphia, she started to get out of the vehicle – ‘heart beating’ – to find the nearest gas station.
It was then she was spotted by 34-year-old Johnny Bobbitt Jr, a former marine now homeless, spending his days holding a sign by the side of the road.
Showing true heroism, Johnny told Kate to get back into her vehicle and lock the doors. He returned carrying a gas can which he had purchased with his remaining $20 (just under £15), allowing Kate to drive home safely.
Kate was clearly touched by this selfless gesture. Over the next few weeks, she returned to repay Johnny the cash she owed him, and bought him a jacket, gloves, a hat and a pair of warm socks.
Every time she saw him she made sure to give him a few dollars, however she quickly realised she wanted to do more to help her new friend in the long term.
She set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to pay for the initial rent on an apartment for Johnny, as well as a vehicle and expenses for four to six months. This would be the break Johnny so badly needed.
Writing on the page, Kate urged people:
Truly believe that all Johnny needs is one little break. Hopefully with your help I can be the one to give it to him.
Please help this man get into a home. It is already getting so cold out in Philadelphia, and I can’t imagine what it will be like to be out there all winter. Any little bit will help.
Johnny bought his new house yesterday!! ??? a puppy is next!
— Kate McClure (@getjohnnyahome) December 3, 2017
Johnny’s kindness was paid back and then some. People could not help but be moved by Johnny’s story and soon Kate had raised almost $400,000 (£300,000).
Johnny can now afford to own his very own home, and will be purchasing his ‘dream truck’ – a 1999 Ford Ranger. His life has been completely turned around thanks to the collective good deeds of strangers.
Writing on the page, Kate said:
The first thing on the list is a NEW Home which Johnny will own!! He will never have to worry about a roof over his head again!! Second will be the dream truck he’s always wanted… a 1999 ford ranger (yes I’m serious).
There will also be 2 trusts set up in his name, one essentially giving him the ability to collect a small ‘salary’ each year and another retirement trust which will be wisely invested by a financial planner which he will have access to in a time frame he feels comfortable with so when the time comes he can live his retirement dream of owning a piece of land and a cabin in the country.
A bank account will be set up for him with funds for every day needs that will get him through until he finds a job. And lastly, he will be donating to a few organizations and people who over the last couple of years have helped him get through this rough patch in his life.
[ooyala autoplay=”true” player_id=”5df2ff5a35d24237905833bd032cd5d8″ auto=”true” width=”854″ height=”480″ pcode=”twa2oyOnjiGwU8-cvdRQbrVTiR2l” code=”pscW1rZDE6byN6a68W5pAW61wKQ_A-Jm”]
What a perfect ending to a lovely and inspiring story.
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.