A New Jersey woman who was helped by a homeless man after she ran out of gas on an interstate in Philadelphia has raised more than $90,000 for the good Samaritan.
Kate McClure, 27, started the GoFundMe campaign earlier this month after she said she ran out of gas on Interstate 95 and a homeless man, Johnny Bobbitt Jr., walked a few blocks and bought her some with his last $20.
McClure said she didn’t have any money to repay him at the time but returned to the road several times to give him cash, clothes and food.
In this Nov. 17, 2017 photo, Johnny Bobbitt Jr (left), Kate McClure (right), and McClure’s boyfriend Mark D’Amico pose at a CITGO station in Philadelphia. When McClure ran out of gas, Bobbitt, who is homeless, gave his last $20 to buy gas for her. McClure started a Gofundme.com campaign for Bobbitt that has raised more than $80,000
Donations have poured in, and the fundraiser has shattered its goal of raising $10,000 for Bobbitt
McClure, 27, started the GoFundMe campaign earlier this month after she said she ran out of gas on Interstate 95 and Bobbitt walked a few blocks and bought her some with his last $20
After a few visits, she started the fundraiser with the hopes of using the money toward housing and other expenses for the 34-year-old Bobbitt.
‘I wish that I could do more for this selfless man, who went out of his way just to help me that day,’ she wrote on the fundraising page.
Donations have poured in, and the fundraiser has shattered its goal of raising $10,000 for Bobbitt.
During the course of her conversations with him, McClure learned that Bobbitt Jr is a homeless veteran, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Originally from the Raleigh, North Carolina area, he served in the Marines as an ammunition technician.
His Facebook page shows photos of happier times in his life, including a romantic relationship that ended in 2014.
Bobbitt also had career goals – training to be a paramedic and working long shifts.
Johnny is seen left holding a newspaper article about story of his encounter with McClure on the highway and what transpired afterward. On the right is an undated photo from happier times posted by a friend of his on social media
He is seen playfully carrying a dog and smiling while standing beside a medical rescue helicopter.
In August 2014, he wrote that he wanted to be a flight nurse.
His life took an unfortunate turn that left him homeless in Philadelphia for the past 18 months.
Bobbitt fell onto hard times – encountering money problems. He also turned to drugs and had several run-ins with the law.
His friends say he has a ‘good heart’ and that if he wanted to he could be a doctor.
In November 2014, he posted an inspirational message on his Facebook page: ‘It’s never too late to turn it all around. Be honest with yourself and others.’
About 3,100 people had given to the campaign by Wednesday evening.
‘Driving into Philly one night, I made the mistake of thinking that I would be able to make it all the way down I- 95 with my gas light on,’ McClure wrote on GoFundMe.
‘Needless to say, I was wrong. I never ran out of gas before, and my heart was beating out of my chest.
‘I pulled over as far as I could, and got out of the car to head to the nearest gas station.
‘That’s when I met Johnny. Johnny sits on the side of the road every day, holding a sign.
Bobbitt also had career goals – training to be a paramedic and working long shifts. He is seen beside a medical rescue helicopter
In August 2014, he wrote that he wanted to be a flight nurse. He had been training to be a paramedic
‘He saw me pull over and knew something was wrong. He told me to get back in the car and lock the doors.
‘A few minutes later, he comes back with a red gas can.
‘Johnny did not ask me for a dollar, and I couldn’t repay him at that moment because I didn’t have any cash, but I have been stopping by his spot for the past few weeks.
‘I repaid him for the gas, gave him a jacket, gloves, a hat, and warm socks, and I give him a few dollars every time I see him.
‘I wish that I could do more for this selfless man, who went out of his way just to help me that day.
‘He is such a great guy, and talking to him each time I see him makes me want to help him more and more.
‘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?”
‘Another time I dropped off 2 wawa gift cards and a case of water.. the first words that came out of his mouth were “I can’t wait to show the guys” (there are 2 others he hangs out with and they all take care of each other).
‘If just those 2 statements alone do not give you a glimpse of the good heart this man has I’m not sure anything will.
‘I am raising money for Johnny. With the money, I would like to get him first and last month’s rent at an apartment, a reliable vehicle, and 4-6 months worth of expenses.
‘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.
‘Truly believe that all Johnny needs is one little break. Hopefully with your help I can be the one to give it to him.
‘Please help this man get into a home. It is already getting so cold out in Philadelphia, and I can’t imagine what it will be like to be out there all winter.
‘Any little bit will help.’