Viral Campaign For Homeless Man Who Used His Last $20 To Help Stranded Motorist Raises Over $300,000

"Talking to him each time I see him makes me want to help him more and more."

A Pennsylvania woman's effort to pay back a homeless man used the last bit of his money to help her out when she became stranded on the highway has gone viral, with thousands donating and driving the campaign total far beyond the initial $10,000 goal. Kate McClure first met Johnny Bobbitt Jr. after she ran out of gas while driving to Philadelphia last month, and since then, has kept in touch, occasionally stopping to talk to Bobbitt and give him a few dollars. Two weeks ago, McClure had the idea to set up a GoFundMe for Bobbitt, and through donations ranging from $5-100, has managed to raise, at time of publication, over $300,000. 



Last month around 11 p.m., McClure was driving on I-95 to visit a friend when her car started sputtering and she just managed to pull onto an exit ramp before her car ran out of gas. Alone, McClure was prepared to walk to the nearest gas station when Bobbitt, who, per the Philadelphia Inquirer, often sits near the guardrail at the exit ramp offered to buy gas for her while she stayed in her car. 

"He told me to get back in the car and lock the doors," McClure wrote on the GoFundMe page. "A few minutes later, he comes back with a red gas can.  Using his last 20 dollars to make sure I could get home safe."

Screenshot / GoFundMe
Screenshot / GoFundMe

McClure and her boyfriend returned the next day to repay him the $20. She continued to stop by occasionally and learned that before becoming homeless, Bobbitt was in the Marine Corps and worked as a firefighter. She brought him gloves, water, and gift cards to a local supermarket, that McClure said he was, more than anything excited to share with the two others he hangs out with.

"I wish that I could do more for this selfless man, who went out of his way just to help me that day," McClure wrote. "He is such a great guy, and talking to him each time I see him makes me want to help him more and more."

McClure initially set up to the GoFundMe with the hope of being able to raise enough money for Bobbitt's first and last month's rent for an apartment, a reliable vehicle and a couple months' worth of expenses. McClure believes that Bobbitt is very interested in finding a job and that with his own place, "his life can get back to being normal."

Per HuffPost, as the fundraiser total starting climbing, Bobbitt requested the campaign be suspended because he didn't want to be seen as taking advantage of the kindness of others.  However, after enough people asked, McClure reopened the GoFundMe

"This is how it is supposed to work," one donor wrote. "People helping people that could then help others. By paying it forward we all benefit. We are all one financial crisis away from Johnny's life."

Ten days ago, when the campaign total was $769, McClure posted a video on Twitter of when she showed Bobbitt the initial fundraiser.

"God, that's amazing," Bobbitt said in the video. "Damn, y'all did all that. That is awesome."

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