Kate’s Ride Home
27-year-old Kate McClure was having an amazing night out. She drove into Philadelphia to visit some good friends and was driving back to New Jersey on the Interstate 95 feeling pretty good. It was a bit late and she was low on gas but she felt confident she could make it home.
Stranded On The Highway
Her good vibes suddenly turned into panic as her gaslight switched on and she realized she wouldn’t be making it back to New Jersey. Kate began maneuvering through the traffic so that she could park on the side of the highway. She began shaking. The last thing you want to be is a lone woman stranded between New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
The Meeting That Changed Everything
When it seemed that things couldn’t get any worse for her, a homeless man started approaching the car. One couldn’t describe the fear that Kate was feeling as he approached. This homeless man was named Johnny Bobbit Jr. and he must have seen the panic in her eyes. According to Kate, there was something different about this homeless man.
Knight In Shining Armor
During an interview, she stated, “He saw me pull over and knew something was wrong,” she said of Bobbitt. “He told me to get back in the car and lock the doors.” He then motioned for her to stay put and then began walking into the distance. Still nervous she waited and wondered what would happen next. She then stated, “A few minutes later, he comes back with a red gas can. Using his last $20 to make sure I could get home safe.”
Driving Home To Safety
She thanked him from the bottom of her heart and sped back to Jersey whilst still feeling a great rush of adrenaline. At the same time, Johnny Bobbit Jr. drifted back into the shadows broke and hungry. Despite that, he felt fulfilled having made a positive change. Little did he know, this random act of kindness would change his life forever. Meanwhile, as Kate laid in bed, she couldn’t stop thinking about the homeless man that saved her life.
A Relationship Forms
Likely inspired by the movie Pay It Forward and the actions of the homeless man who helped her, Kate decided to find the man who sacrificed the little he had for her safety. Finding him wasn’t hard. He was camped out by the highway where she had initially met him. She began to periodically give him clothes, money, and food. They would even have conversations. Bobbit opened to her and what she found out about him was amazing.
Sweet Home North Carolina
Despite living on the streets of one of America’s biggest cities, Bobbit was brought up a small town boy in North Carolina. This came as no shock to Kate. Bobbit did sport a very heavy accent that is not normally heard on the east coast of the United States. One had to wonder what brought home Philadelphia.
In 2001, life in the United States changed forever. Our peaceful way of life was suddenly disrupted and thousands upon thousands of men and women joined the military to fight in the name of their country. War is never a pretty thing and lots of soldiers come back and are never the same. Bobbit was one of these individuals.
Bobbit In The Marines
In December 2002, Johnny found himself in the Marine Corps working as an ammunition technician. He also worked as a paramedic. He was a brave man who signed up to serve his country when things looked as if they were at there worse. That said, for reasons unknown, Bobbit’s military career was cut short.
In a time when thousands upon thousands of Marines were being deployed into Iraq, Bobbit stayed on the home front. While most soldiers give four months of service, Bobbit left the Marine Corps only at 14 months of service. According to his records, he was discharged as a private and was receiving an E-1 pay grade. By 2004, Bobbit was a free man.
Johnny Bobbit Jr.’s life quickly took a few bad turns too many. He lost a job, fell into depression and saw his substance as a way to shake his woes loose. This, of course, is never the way to long-lasting happiness. Bobbit quickly found himself on the streets. Once you end up homeless, there is rarely a clear path back into the working society. In terms of his position in society, Bobbit found himself on the outside looking in.
Despite his homeless situation, Bobbit had dreams of his own. He wanted to pick himself back up and get a job, own a truck and someday even have a family. Sadly, it takes money to make money and when you are broke, living on the streets and dirty, most people won’t be in a rush to hire you. This mentality kept Bobbit dwelling within society’s lowest level.
He had been down and out on the street for a year and a half before Kate came along and rescued him from the slums. This means that every day was a game of survival. On hot days he’d need to struggle to get water and stay in the shade whilst still making money to eat. The winters were even more of a struggle. The east coast cold was like nothing he had experienced before.
Going back to the day that they met, Johnny never asked for a dollar or begged for anything. He didn’t help her in exchange for favors. He did it all from the goodness of his own heart. When he spent $20 out of his own pocket and was never expecting to see the money again. His main concern was seeing that this girl got home safely.
Certain traits about Johnny really touched Kate. He’d often offer her things. The golden moment was when she realized he was sharing with other. On his GoFundMe it reads, ” Another time I dropped off two 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 two others he hangs out with and they all take care of each other). If just those two statements alone do not give you a glimpse of the good heart this man has I’m not sure anything will.
Kate’s efforts to help Bobbit didn’t seem like enough. She and her boyfriend felt that they could do more for him. During an interview, she stated, “We were like, ‘Man, if we could change this guy’s life. And that’s when we came up with the idea of GoFundMe.” Surely, they would be able to make a huge impact on this man’s life by making him a GoFundMe page for him.
They loving couple took him out to dinner and told him about the GoFundMe page and they showed him how much money he had made towards his dreams. He was going to get that 1999 Ford Ranger he had always dreamed of, that house and so much more. Never could he have imagined that his simple act of kindness would get him out of the streets.
Setting Up A Trust
“There will also be 2 trusts set up in his name,” His GoFundMe states, “One essentially giving him the ability to collect a small ‘salary’ each year and another retirement trust which will be wisely invested by a financial planner which he will have access to in a time frame he feels comfortable with so when the time comes he can live his retirement dream of owning a piece of land and a cabin in the country.”
He Know What He Has To Do
Mark D’Amico, Kate’s boyfriend truly believes that Bobbit can make better of his life. During an interview with Inquirer, he stated “He knows where he’s at and he knows what he has to do to dig himself out. It’s almost impossible to dig himself out if he has nobody and nothing. If we can raise enough money to set him up for a few months, where he doesn’t have to worry about where he’s going to sleep and what he’s going to eat, then he can get a job and go about his life.”
Wants A Job
According to Kate, Bobbit wants to start working, “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.” Now with that break given, we can’t wait to see if Bobbit can rebuild his life.
With a site like GoFundMe, you can’t be sure if your campaign is going to take off or completely fail. Luckily for Johnny, his story touched the masses. His initial goal was to garner himself $10,000. In the past months, it has shot way past that amount. Currently, Johnny has $402,000 to his name. That is more than some people ever have in their whole lives.
Under Mark and Kate’s Control
If you think that Bobbit is getting all this money thrown at him, you are wrong. Kate and Mark are holding the money for him and assure that most of it goes to his rent, food and other things. Eventually, it will all be in his name, but they want to make sure that he has a life straighten before that happens.
When asked what Johnny wanted for his future, he knew exactly what to say. He wants to give back and help others who have found themselves in similar situations as himself. As for his fortune, the three of them have recently contacted lawyers and financial advisors so that they could deal with the huge sum of money in the most responsible way.
Johnny’s New Home
Today Johnny’s dreams have been recognized. He has his truck, all the food a man can eat and he has moved out of the hotel he was living in and is finally in his very own home in South Jersey. On his GoFundMe page, he described how it felt to have his own home, “The feeling is indescribable and it all thanks to the support and generosity that each and every one of you has shown. I’ll continue to thank you every single day for the rest of my life.”
Kicking Bad Habits
One of Johnny’s biggest problems was his addiction to a substance. Thankfully, it is a problem that he beat. He updated his page with this amazing message, “Today has been 30 days of clean and sober for me! And it’s all thanks to all of you. I’m finally starting to feel like my old self. It hasn’t been all smooth sailing and I’ve got a lot of hard work ahead of me but I’m ready for it!
Feelings of loneliness can often drive us to a dark place. Luckily for Johnny, Kate and Mark and have become a second family for him. They go out with him regularly, they spend major holidays together and they even all went on a trip to New York together. I suppose at anytime life can bring you something amazing out of the complete blue. With their help, Johnny is sure to be a great success.
One might say that it would be very easy for Johnny to fall off the straight and narrow path and fall into his old bad habits. We don’t think this will happen anytime soon. Johnny has surrounded himself with very positive and caring individuals. They have invested in Johnny and Johnny knows it. He isn’t only living for himself anymore, he has people who truly love him and treasure him.
No More Donations
If you desire to send Johnny some donations, it is no longer possible. He has reached his goal and the option has been shut down. However, they do leave the page up so they can continuously update you on Johnny’s life. He also accepts a lot of inspirational letters from people. They tell him about a time they paid it forward or when someone blessed them with a random act of kindness.
Johnny Is Giving Back
Today Johnny is looking to transform other people’s lives that have ended up on the streets. He knows firsthand how it felt to not have a home. He knows how to unfortunate is to sleep of hard, dirty concrete with bugs climbing on you and people treating you like you don’t exist. He especially feels for the fellow veterans who have served their country and have ended up in the lowest of the low positions.
His Final Message
He wrote on his GoFundMe account, “I’ve seen this man on the streets and although I wouldn’t call him a friend I think he is the perfect candidate to continue this string of kindness. I’ve talked with Cole and his father and I really think that they can help change this mans life just like mine has been changed. If you have the time please share it on Facebook to help get the word out!” He then left a link to the guys page.