Just last month, a 27 year old woman named Kate McClure found herself driving down a New Jersey road close to midnight when her car ran out of gas. As her initial response was to get back on her way, but instead she decided to walk to the nearest gas station. But then, as she began to do so, a homeless man named Johnny warned her against it.
As a precaution, he suggested that she stay in her car and lock the doors. He then went ahead and offered to fetch the gas for her. Because McClure didn’t have any cash on her, she didn’t want to accept his offer. But that’s when Johnny did something amazing: he used his last $20 to help her get back home safely.
McClure, blown away by his kindness, promised to return to the location so she could repay him. The next day, she and her boyfriend did just that. They also brought some items to make sure he kept warm. This still did not feel like enough, however, and so McClure set up a GoFundMe page for Johnny.
She wrote on the page:
“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.”
Soon after the campaign was created, it went viral. To date, the campaign has raised over $400,000 for Johnny — far surpassing its $10,000 goal. Most of the donations were between $10 and $20, showing just how powerful a simple act of charity can be.
Before Johnny became homeless, he worked as a firefighter and paramedic. He just happened to fall on hard times, which is why McClure wanted to use the funds to secure housing for him. According to the Huffington Post, she figured that with some essentials and enough money to last him a few months, he could turn his situation around.
“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,” she wrote. “Truly believe that all Johnny needs is one little break. Hopefully with your help I can be the one to give it to him.”
Even after the campaign reached its goal, supporters continued to donate money. As it crept toward $100,000, Johnny asked for the campaign to be suspended. Reportedly, he did not want to take advantage of the kindness of strangers. But after a while, McClure started it again due to popular demand.
I believe we can take notes from Johnny here. As we are amid the holiday season it is important to reflect on what we have and take note of those who have not. It is important to love unconditionally – and to have such love for others as well as ourselves.
It is beautiful to read about uplifting events & stories such as these, and even more so to know there are humans out here that truly care for one another. May we go forth and continue these acts of kindness & spread them across our planet!
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