If you need something to knock you out of your post-turkey stupor, this heartwarming video should do the trick. A woman raised over $300,000 through GoFundMe for a homeless vet who showed her extraordinary kindness a few years back, and a video of him getting the news is giving people all kinds of feelings.
If you want to see what the holidays really should be all about, take a look. It's not about lining up all night for sales or eating yourself into a stupor with 17 pumpkin pies. It's meant to be about giving and being thankful. And this story about paying it forward is just that.
Kate McClure met Johnny Bobbitt, Jr., one night near Philadelphia, when she ran out of gas and pulled to the side of the road, panicking. Johnny, who is homeless, came over and told her to lock her car doors, before going away and coming back with a red can full of gas. He had spent his last few dollars on getting her gas to ensure that she could get home safe.
It's an amazing story of itself, but that's far from the end of it. She started returning to give Johnny a few tokens of appreciation — water, granola bars, Wawa gift cards, according to McClure's description on the GoFundMe page. And every single time, the first thing that he said was that he wanted to share it, with McClure, with his friends.
So McClure went one step further. She set up a GoFundMe page to "pay it forward" for Bobbitt's kindness. At first, her goals for it were small. "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," she wrote on the page. "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."
And when she initially told Bobbitt, they hadn't yet reached their initial goal of $10,000. In fact they only had raised around $1,700 dollars — a small fraction of where the fundraiser's currently at. But you can see how grateful he is in this video.
Seeing how amazingly touched Bobbitt is, how amazed he is at someone wanting to help him, and how excited he is as that prospect of his life changing completely, is a reminder of what this season is meant to be all about.
“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,” McClure said on the GoFundMe page. “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. [I] truly believe that all Johnny needs is one little break.”
And this is definitely more than a little break. The campaign has gone viral, and it's now worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. It was briefly taken down at Bobbitt's request, because he reportedly didn't want to look like he was taking advantage, and wanted to suggest other places for the money to go. But the fund has now been reopened, for anyone who is interested in donating.
This season is meant to about giving, and McClure and Bobbitt both seem to understand that. Many people would have accepted the kindness of a stranger, but just choose to move on rather than paying it forward. Her choice to help goes above and beyond, but also reminds us of how the simple act of paying it forward can seriously change lives.