A homeless man in Philadelphia has decided to share the windfall of donations he’s received lately. Johnny Bobbitt Jr. was living under a bridge just last month until a good person decided to help him, and he’s going to spread the love.
‘Tis the season for gratitude and giving. “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,” Johnny Bobbitt Jr. told ABC News. “I want to feel the feeling on the opposite end.” And it all started when a stranger ran out of gasoline.
Last month Kate McClure ran out of gas late at night on Interstate 95 in Philadelphia. Terrified and nervous, she got out of the car to head to the nearest gas station and met Bobbitt. He told her to get back in the vehicle and lock the door where she would be safe. Minutes later, he emerged with a red gas can. He had used his last $20 to buy her gas for the car. Bobbitt didn’t ask for money and McClure didn’t have any on her at that time to give to him anyway. But over the next few weeks, she gave him a jacket, gloves, a hat, and some socks. She would also give him a few dollars each time she saw him but McClure wanted to do more.
About two weeks ago, she and her boyfriend, Mark D’Amico, who both live in New Jersey, started a GoFundMe page. They had hoped to raise $10,000 to help Bobbitt get enough money for first and last month’s rent, a reliable vehicle and up to six months of expenses so he wouldn’t have to live on the street. But what happened, was astounding.
The local paper ran a story about the GoFundMe page and the reasons it was started, and later went viral. By Monday, the fund exceeded $380,000. More than 13,000 people have made donations, the GoFundMe page said. “It’s like winning the lottery,” Bobbitt told ABC’s “Good Morning America” in a joint interview with McClure Sunday.
Bobbitt said he would definitely get a place to live but that he wouldn’t be splurging on a brand new car. “You know of course I want to change my life,” he said. “I want to give a lot of it away.” Bobbitt plans to pay it forward, showing how one small act of kindness (getting a stranded woman gasoline) can spiral into a wave of good.
“I just got her gas to help her get back on her way. I didn’t think anything about it. I wasn’t expecting anything in return,” ABC quoted Bobbitt as saying. “That’s how I got the money to start with — from other people. [I had to] return the favor. I can’t constantly take and not give back.” Bobbitt told ABC it was a struggle to be out on the streets and people viewed the homeless differently. “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 said.
“I have honestly met more good people than bad. I really have,” Bobbitt said. “Like y’all,” referring to McClure and D’Amico.
Hope for humanity has been restored.
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Contributed by Dawn Luger of The Daily Sheeple.