If you don’t believe that kindness always pays off, prepare to be converted. This is the heartwarming story of a man who had nothing, and still managed to astonish the world with his generosity, as shared by BoredPanda.
When Johnny Bobbitt Jr., a homeless veteran, saw a woman stranded on a Philadelphia interstate, he just had to help her. He advised 27-year-old Kate McClure to lock herself inside her car, since it was a dangerous area. “He said, ‘I’ll be back. Trust me,’” she told the Philadelphia Inquirer. Then Bobbitt walked to the nearest gas station where he spent his last $20 to buy her gas so she could be on her way, asking for nothing in return.
Source: Kate McClure
Paying kindness with kindness
Kate McClure, of New Jersey, didn’t have money to repay him at the moment, but over the next few weeks she and her boyfriend, Mark D’Amico, returned several times to the roadside where Bobbitt usually sat with a sign. She repaid him the money, brought him a jacket, gloves, a hat and socks, and started giving him a few dollars every time she saw him.
“We went to Target and got him a big backpack filled with stuff, and he opened the granola bars and offered us one,” McClure said. “We are like, ‘We just got this for you.’ He’s extremely generous.”
Changing a man’s life
About two weeks ago, the couple decided to start a GoFundMe campaign to raise money to help the selfless man. Their initial goal was $10.000, which would be enough to cover a “first and last month’s rent at an apartment, a reliable vehicle, and 4 to 6 months worth of expenses.” But when the story was picked up by CNN and other news outlets, the donations started pouring in, and as of now they have exceeded the $300,000 mark.
“I don’t have an explanation for it,” D’Amico told CNN. “I think it was the perfect storm. We wanted to make sure he was safe and go from there. I remember when we got our first donation, we were like, ‘Holy crap.’”
Source: Associated Press
An overwhelming generosity
When on Thursday the campaign had raised over $239.000, Bobbitt asked McClure to close the fundraiser, as people had given more than enough.
“Johnny asked me to please stop accepting donations today. He is beyond humbled by the amount of support and love he has received over the last few days,” she wrote.
But there were still a lot of generous souls who wanted to add to the cause, and on popular demand, McClure started accepting donations once again.
“Okay, well that didn’t last very long. We just called Johnny explaining that many people are requesting the donations be left open,” she said.
“He is more than happy with the amount that has been raised so far and didn’t want to seem like he is taking advantage. For the short time that we took it down, though, it is obvious that people still want to donate to this cause.”
Source: Kate McClure
A former Marine veteran and EMT fallen on hard times
Johnny Bobbitt is a 34-year-old certified paramedic who served in the US Marine Corps as an ammunition technician. Originally from Raleigh, North Carolina, the veteran moved to Philadelphia for a job that eventually fell through. He’d been homeless for a year and a half before meeting McClure, and lived under a bridge since he was robbed in a shelter.
“He came back from his service in the marines and for some reason it didn’t work out with his wife and it hit him hard,” D’Amico said. “He left North Carolina and started traveling around the United States.”
“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,” McClure wrote on the GoFundMe site.
Bobbitt told McClure and D’Amico that he wants to work at the Amazon warehouse in Robbinsville, New Jersey. A recruiter from the company has apparently reached out, saying she wants to help him get a spot.
“He’s a genuinely good guy so I think he deserves everything that’s coming to him,” McClure said.
McClure posted a video on YouTube, showing Johnny astonished and immensely grateful after the campaign had raised a little over $700.
As of this article, the campaign has reached $357,750
McClure and D’Amico checked Bobbitt into a hotel on Wednesday night. They took him to Walmart to buy some socks, and gave him money to get contact lenses. According to D’Amico, Bobbitt just wanted to lie in bed and watch TV. The next day they got him a computer. “He can’t wait to get on a computer,” D’Amico said.
As for what he means to do with the money, D’Amico said that Bobbitt plans to make a video outlining his intentions.
“He plans on donating a large portion to causes that are close to his heart,” D’Amico revealed. Those causes include programs for “homeless vets and a few organizations that helped him the last year or two.”
“His dreams aren’t champagne and caviar,” D’Amico said.