‘Paying it forward’: Woman raises $60K for homeless veteran who used his last $20 to save her

A New Jersey woman has raised more than $60,000 for a homeless man who spent his last $20 to fill the stranded motorist’s gas tank.

Kate McClure, 27, told The Philadelphia Inquirer that she was driving on I-95 last month when her car ran out of gas at the bottom of an exit ramp. The woman recalled being terrified as it was 11 p.m. and she was all alone.

“My heart was beating out of my chest,” the New Jersey woman told the newspaper. “I didn’t know what the heck to do.”

As she headed to the nearest gas station, Johnny Bobbitt Jr., 34,  who often holds a sign in the vicinity, instructed her to get back into her car and lock the doors as he got gas a few blocks away.

“A few minutes later, he comes back with a red gas can,” McClure wrote on the GoFundMe page she created.

“Using his last 20 dollars to make sure I could get home safe.”

McClure, who had no cash on her at the time, said the ex-Marine and paramedic asked for nothing in return. However, she returned to Bobbitt’s spot to repay him for the gas and bring him food and clothes.

Tthe New Jersey woman learned more about the man who saved her in the following weeks. She told the Associated Press that a series of tough breaks put the veteran on the streets a year ago.

According to the Press, Bobbitt was moving around the country before settling in Philadelphia. He came to the city with a job waiting for him and money saved up but the job fell through at the last minute.

The 34-year-old then reportedly lost his paperwork that would allow him to work. The stroke of bad luck left him homeless and desolate.

Thanks to the fundraiser—which has garnered more than $65,000 as of Wednesday night—Bobbitt hopes to get recertified as a paramedic at some point. But for now, he wants to replace his paperwork and get a job at the Amazon warehouse in Robbinsville, New Jersey.

McClure and her boyfriend, Mark D’Amico, 38, stressed that they will be managing Bobbitt’s funds and will use the money to rent him an apartment and to provide him with food, clothing, a cellphone, and transportation, according to The Inquirer.

The couple said they believe that Bobbitt has the right attitude to turn his life around.

“Just to see him react the way he does is such a good feeling,” McClure said. “I mean, it really feels good.”

[Featured Image: Johnny Bobbitt Jr. and Kate McClure/GoFundMe]