Kate McClure ran out of gas while driving on I-95 last month on her way to Philly. She stopped on an exit ramp, her heart pounding as she got out of the car to try find a gas station. According to The Washington Post, that’s when she met Johnny Bobbitt, Jr. He was sitting on the side of the road near the exit ramp holding a sign. McClure said,
“He saw me pull over and knew something was wrong. He told me to get back in the car and lock the doors.”
McClure said Bobbitt then walked to a gas station and came back with a can filled with gas. He had spent $20 — the only money he had — buying it.
“Johnny did not ask me for a dollar, and I couldn’t repay him at that moment because I didn’t have any cash.”
McClure decided to start a GoFundMe campaign two weeks ago to raise money to help Bobbitt get back on his feet. She thought she might raise $10,000 to pay for an apartment, maybe a car and other expenses for the next few months.
McClure posted a video to YouTube last week with Bobbitt in the back seat of a car reading a newspaper article about the GoFundMe campaign to help him get off his feet. he was thrilled by the article and the donations that McClure and her boyfriend, Mark D’Amico, told him were coming in.
They had raised $769 at the time. Bobbitt said,
“God, that’s amazing. Damn, y’all did all that. That is awesome. People talk about Philly … I have honestly met more good people than bad, I really have. Like y’all! I mean that is amazing.”
“Well, you’re a good person — that’s why.”
As of this writing, McClure had raised more than $350,000 from over 12,000 people. She said she has been driving back to Bobbitt’s spot over the past few weeks, giving him a few dollars every time. She also repaid him, gave him a jacket, gloves, a hat and socks.
“One day I stopped to see him and had a few things in a bag to give him, one of which was a box of cereal bars so he could have something that he could carry around and eat. He was very appreciative as usual and the first thing he said was, ‘Do you want one?’ ”
Bobbitt, who’s from North Carolina, became homeless because of problems with drugs and money and has been living on the streets for a year and a half. A friend in North Carolina who had been close to Bobbitt saidthat Bobbitt was a talented paramedic
Bobbitt talked about how his life took a turn for the worse,
“Johnny said, ‘Yeah, tell me about bad luck. But don’t get me wrong. I’m here because of my own decisions. I got nobody to blame but myself.”
McClure wrote on the GoFundMe page that she believes Bobbitt is driven to find a job.
“I believe that with a place to be able to clean up every night and get a good night’s sleep, his life can get back to normal. Truly believe that all Johnny needs is one little break.”
Just before Thanksgiving, McClure shared an update on Bobbitt. She said they had found a hotel where Bobbitt can stay for the holiday weekend while they work on finding him a permanent home. Bobbitt wanted to relax in the hotel and watch television she said.
McClure and D’Amico gave Bobbitt money to buy contact lenses and took him to Walmart, where he bought socks, CNN reported. They said Bobbitt hasn’t told them what he intends to do with all the money, but told CNN that he plans to post a video detailing his plans for the future. D’Amico said,
“The whole game changed in the last 24 to 48 hours. His expectations changed, and what he wanted to do changed,” D’Amico said. “He has a couple of places in Philadelphia that got him through and got him by. He wants to pay it forward.
His dreams aren’t champagne and caviar.”
Kinda restores your faith in humanity, huh?
(via Washington Post)