A man who walks 21 miles to work never suspected that a news story would change his life forever. But thank’s to the generosity of strangers, that’s exactly what happened to him.
The story of James Robertson, a 56-year-old man from Detroit who walks 21 miles to and from work each day was first featured in The Detroit Free Press. From there, it took on a life of its own, and in less than 24 hours help was pouring in for the man.
After reading the story, Evan Leedy, a student at Detroit’s Wayne State University, set up a GoFundMe account to help raise money to buy Robertson a car. It began with a simple goal of $5,000 and skyrocketed to over $200,000 from thousands of people after Robertson’s story was picked up my media outlets around the world, reported the Huffington Post.
James Robertson’s car broke down about 10 years ago and bus service his limited, so most of his trip to work is on foot, reports NBC News.
Robertson leaves his home at 8 a.m. and does not return until around 4 a.m. He can’t afford to own and maintain a car in the Motor City on his $10.55-per-hour salary, he must rely on public transportation, rides from good samaritans and his own two feet to get him where he needs to go Monday through Friday, he explained.
“I am just so stunned,” Robertson told People magazine Tuesday. “Who would have thought that just a simple walk would have turned into this? I would have told you that you were crazy a few days ago … I am taking this as a sign that it’s time I start driving again,” he said. “And getting more than two hours of sleep a night.”
Tanya Fox, Robertson’s girlfriend, reacted with similar shock.
Yes, sometimes a simple story can be life-changing.