Homeless veteran buys home with money from fundraiser
PHILADELPHIA — A homeless man who used his last $20 to fill up the gas tank of a stranded motorist in Philadelphia has bought a home with some of the nearly $400,000 raised for him by the woman he saved.
“The feeling is indescribable and (it’s) all thanks to the support and generosity that each and every one of you has shown,” Johnny Bobbitt Jr. wrote on a GoFundMe page. “I’ll continue to thank you every single day for the rest of my life.”
Kate McClure, of Florence Township, New Jersey, ran out of gas on an Interstate 95 exit ramp late one night. Bobbitt walked a few blocks to buy her gas.
She didn’t have money to repay him at the time, but sought him out days later to give him the money, and visited him a few more times to bring food and water. She and her boyfriend created the online fundraiser page as a thank you and to try to help him get back on his feet. As of Tuesday afternoon the fundraiser has raised more than $397,000.
Bobbitt served in the U.S. Marine Corps and worked as a paramedic in Vance County, North Carolina, before he became homeless.
Details on how he wound up on the streets of Philadelphia have been sparse. Bobbitt has said it was a mix of “bad decisions and bad situations.”
In addition to buying his house and eventually his dream truck (a 1999 Ford Ranger), he said he is donating some of his money to a Philadelphia grade school student who is helping another homeless veteran. He hopes his fans continue to pay it forward.
According to the GoFundMe page for that homeless veteran, a student at a Philadelphia Catholic school met the man walking home from school each day. After he learned the man’s story, he started the campaign to help him get off the streets and reunite him with his family.
No information was revealed about where Bobbitt’s new house is located. Bobbitt said he will have pictures of it in coming days on his newly minted Instagram account.
There are also two trust funds being set up for Bobbitt, including a retirement fund and one to give him an annual salary, according to the GoFundMe page.
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