Here is your Thanksgiving feel-good story of the day that will restore your faith in humanity. A woman ran out of gas and a homeless veteran came to her aid by giving her his last $20 so that she could get to her destination. She not only paid him back his $20, but she helped raise nearly $250,000 for the homeless man to restart his life.
Last month, Kate McClure was driving on I-95 in New Jersey on her way to visiting a friend in Philadelphia when she ran out of gas. On the car’s last fumes, she was able to pull onto an exit ramp at 11 at night. That’s where she was approached by a homeless man by the name of Johnny who frequently stands near the ramp and holds a sign asking for spare change.
Apprehensive at first, she told Johnny that she had run out of gas. He told her to stay in her car with the doors locked. He then went to the nearby gas station, got $20 of gasoline, brought it back to Kate, and filled her car up. That was Johnny’s last $20. She was extremely grateful, but she didn’t have a single dollar to repay him. So she promised that she would be back to reimburse the homeless man.
In the weeks since the amazing act of generosity, Kate has returned to the scene of where she ran out of gas to compensate Johnny with a jacket, insulated gloves, a knit cap, warm socks, cash, snacks, and Wawa gift cards. Kate and her boyfriend Mark D’Amico have learned a lot about Johnny over the last few weeks and decided they needed to do more for him.
So they set up a GoFundMe campaign titled “getjohnnyahome” to raise money so Johnny could get back on his feet with a car and a place to live for a few months. Their initial goal was to raise $10,000 through the crowd-funding website. After only 12 days, Kate has helped raise nearly $250,000 for the 34-year-old homeless veteran who served in the Marine Corps.
Johnny was previously a certified paramedic and has been homeless for about a year. He moved around the country and then came to Philadelphia last year after he lined up a job. However, Johnny lost his job and ran out of money, rendering him homeless.
He also suffered a romantic breakup and he had a drug addiction that caused his life to spiral out of control. He also lost his paperwork, which meant he couldn’t even get a job if he wanted to. Kate and Mark have helped Johnny start the process of getting his identification paperwork restored.
Johnny plans to take the test to become recertified as a paramedic in Pennsylvania or New Jersey and he hopes to get a job at the Amazon warehouse in Robbinsville, New Jersey. “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,” Kate wrote.