The homeless Pennsylvania veteran who received hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations after a caring stranger began a GoFundMe for him is vowing to give it some of it away to help others in need.
Johnny Bobbitt Jr., 34, received more than $360,000 after Kate McClure – a stranger he gave his last $20 to in order to get her home after she ran out of gas – raised money for him as a thank you.
Bobbitt told Good Morning America, on Sunday that he plans to donate some of the money to organizations that help those in need.
“I just want to do the right thing,” he said. “This money was given to help me. Why not help other people in similar situations or people that are actively helping other people in different situations?”
Bobbitt continued, “Everybody out there is facing some kind of struggle, so if I can touch their life, the way mine was touched, [it’d be] an amazing feeling. I want to feel the feeling on the opposite end.”
McClure, 27, first met Bobbitt last month when her car ran out of gas on Interstate 95 in Philadelphia, she wrote on a GoFundMe page she created for the man.
“He saw me pull over and knew something was wrong,” she said of Bobbitt, who usually sits on the side of the road each day. “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 to make sure I could get home safe.”
Since then, McClure has often visited Bobbitt, giving him money, clothes, food and supplies. Now, she’s decided to take her efforts a step further, raising more than $365,000 for the vet.
McClure told the Philadelphia Inquirer that she and her boyfriend, Mark D’Amico, 38, were determined to help Bobbitt after the incident.
“We were like, ‘Man, if we could change this guy’s life,’ ” she said. “And that’s when we came up with the idea of GoFundMe.”
The donations quickly began pouring in after McClure shared her story. In less than two weeks, thousands have given money to the fundraiser to help Bobbitt.
McClure and D’Amico plan to manage the donations and use the money to rent Bobbitt an apartment, pay for his food, clothing, transportation and more, they told the Inquirer.
Bobbitt told GMA he’s “overwhelmed” by the kindness that has come of his good deed.
“I just got her gas to help her get back on her way. I didn’t think anything about it. I wasn’t expecting anything in return,” he shared. “That’s how I got the money to start with — from other people. [I had to] return the favor. I can’t constantly take and not give back.”