Earlier this month, Kate McClure was driving on I-95 outside Philadelphia when her car ran out of gas. It was cold and dark outside, and the admittedly shaken 27-year-old was approached by a homeless man named Johnny, who regularly sits on the side of the road not far from where she pulled over. Johnny told McClure to get back in her vehicle, lock the doors, and wait for him to return. A few minutes later, he came back with a gas can and began filling up her car.
Never once did Johnny ask for money—in fact, he used the last $20 he had to ensure McClure got home safely.
McClure did not have any cash on her the night Johnny paid for her gas, but she has subsequently gone out of her way to return the favor. In the days since since Johnny’s random act of kindness, McClure has visited him on numerous occasions, bringing warm clothing, food, water, and gift cards with her each time. She also got the idea to start a GoFundMe page in an effort to get Johnny back on his feet.
In just 11 days, the campaign has raised nearly $40,000—quadrupling McClure’s initial $10,000 goal—from more than 400 donors. The GoFundMe page explains that the money will be used to cover “first and last month’s rent at an apartment, a reliable vehicle, and 4-6 months worth of expenses” for the man. It also states that Johnny is “very interested” in finding a job, and McClure believes a proper place to live will be the catalyst he needs to achieve that.
“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,” she said.
As it turns out, Johnny’s altruism that night was nothing out of the ordinary. McClure shared on the GoFundMe page that, any time she brings him supplies, he immediately offers to share and talks about how much good it will do him and the other men he hangs out with.
“One day I… [brought] 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,’” she wrote. “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 two statements alone do not give you a glimpse of the good heart this man has,” she continued, “I’m not sure anything will.”
It is truly humbling to see a man who, materially speaking, has so little be so rich in spirit and kindness, and it is McClure’s hope that, in sharing his story, his goodness will continue to be rewarded.
“I truly believe that all Johnny needs is one little break,” she said. “Hopefully with your help I can be the one to give it to him.”
You can check out Johnny’s GoFundMe page HERE.