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November 24, 2017

Fund for homeless good Samaritan soars to $300,000 on thanks-giving

More than 10,400 people have helped a New Jersey couple say thanks

Fundraisers Homelessness
Kate McClure Johnny Kate McClure/GoFundMe

Kate McClure and Johnny Bobbitt, the homeless man who helped her after she got stranded on I-95 in Philadelphia. McClure started a crowdfunding effort that raised more than $400,000 to help the veteran get back on his feet. But now much of the money is reporting missing.

Just in time for the holiday of giving thanks and paying it forward, a fateful interaction between a stranded I-95 traveler and a good Samaritan has sparked a flood of life-changing donations.

Stranded on the highway when her car ran out of gas, Kate McClure met Johnny Bobbitt, a homeless veteran who used his last $20 to buy gas for McClure at a nearby station and get her safely back on the road.

To show her gratitude, McClure returned to visit Johnny and give him food and other goods, eventually leading her to launch a GoFundMe for Johnny with a goal of raising $10,000. With the money, she hoped to help him to rent an apartment, buy a car, and help him find a steady job.

In the 13 days since publishing the campaign, she has far exceeded that goal. A flurry of Thanksgiving giving pushed the total to more than $300,000 from 10,400 people as of 9 a.m. Friday. The fund climbed nearly $60,000 after 3 p.m. Thursday.

“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,” said McClure, a Burlington County resident.

The donations were still streaming in on Friday morning as the story tugged heartstrings.

One GoFundMe donor suggested the campaign was successful enough to buy Bobbitt a home, and ensure he was never homeless again.

"This is beyond inspirational, it's so uplifting to hear something like this in the cynical world we live in," wrote another sponsor.

"Love this story – the world needs more people to act like Kate McClure & Johnny Bobbitt!!" said yet another.

Read more about Johnny’s full story here