Kate McClure was driving into Philadelphia on Interstate 95 late at night recently when she ran out of gas. She managed to maneuver her car onto an exit ramp, where she was greeted by a homeless man named Johnny, who said he’d spend his last $20 to buy McClure some gas a few blocks away. Ten minutes later, he returned with the gas, and McClure thanked him and went on her way.
But that’s not where the story ends. McClure couldn’t stop thinking about Johnny, so she and her boyfriend gathered some food, clothes and basic toiletries into a backpack and delivered it to him. Next, they started a GoFundMe page that has raised over $30,000 to date for Johnny, an unemployed paramedic who was led astray by a drug problem.
The couple now plans to rent Johnny an apartment and pay for food, clothing, cellphone, and transportation as he attempts to get back on his feet.
“He knows where he’s at and he knows what he has to do to dig himself out,” McClure’s boyfriend, Mark D’Amico, tells The Philadelphia Inquirer. “
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.”
From the Go Fund Me page;
This is Johnny.
Driving into Philly one night, I made the mistake of thinking that I would be able to make it all the way down I- 95 with my gas light on. Needless to say, I was wrong. I never ran out of gas before, and my heart was beating out of my chest. I pulled over as far as I could, and got out of the car to head to the nearest gas station.
That’s when I met Johnny. Johnny sits on the side of the road every day, holding a sign. He saw me pull over and knew something was wrong. He told me to get back in the car and lock the doors. A few minutes later, he comes back with a red gas can. Using his last 20 dollars to make sure I could get home safe.
Johnny did not ask me for a dollar, and I couldn’t repay him at that moment because I didn’t have any cash, but I have been stopping by his spot for the past few weeks. I repaid him for the gas, gave him a jacket, gloves, a hat, and warm socks, and I give him a few dollars every time I see him.
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.
One day I stopped to see him and had a few things in a bag to give him, one of which was a box of cereal bars so he could have something that he could carry around and eat. He was very appreciative as usual and the first thing he said was “do you want one?” Another time I dropped off 2 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 2 others he hangs out with and they all take care of each other). If just those 2 statements alone do not give you a glimpse of the good heart this man has I’m not sure anything will.
I am raising money for Johnny. 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. 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.
Truly believe that all Johnny needs is one little break. Hopefully with your help I can be the one to give it to him.
Please help this man get into a home. It is already getting so cold out in Philadelphia, and I can’t imagine what it will be like to be out there all winter. Any little bit will help.