Kate McClure had never run out of gas before. But when she did one night as she was driving into Philadelphia, she was lucky Johnny was there to come to her rescue.
When her tank flashed empty, Kate did her best to pull her car over to the side of the road before heading to the nearest gas station.
“That’s when I met Johnny,” Kate wrote on her GoFundMe page. When he saw her pull the car over, he knew something was wrong. Getting up from the side of the road, where he sat every day holding a sign, Johnny approached Kate and told her to “get back in the car and lock the doors.”
Complying, Kate watched as Johnny returned to her, toting a red gas can. He had spent his last $20 to ensure Kate could get back on the road and home safe.GoFundMe
Overwhelmed by his kindness, Kate was unable to repay him at the time, but ever since, she has been stopping by his spot. She wrote:
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.
Kate brought him items such as granola bars and gift cards to their local grocery store, and his first thought was to share the gifts with those around him. After dropping off the bars, Johnny immediately turned to Kate and asked, “Do you want one?”
Kate is raising money for Johnny, and over time and through conversations, she has gotten to know him very well. After finding his Facebook page, Kate shared some photos online of Johnny’s former life.GoFundMe
NJ.com reported that Johnny had previously been a certified paramedic. He had moved to Philadelphia with a job lined up. Unfortunately, the job didn’t work out, and he was forced to live off the small savings he had. When he lost his paperwork, he was unable to work. One night of sleeping on the streets turned into a year of homelessness.
Johnny is a veteran of the US Marine Corps, and was a firefighter/paramedic. This is just a reminder that this could happen to any of us.
Kate and her boyfriend Mark D’Amico are going even further than merely fundraising for Johnny. They know that just handing him the money wouldn’t be sufficient. NJ.com reported that the couple are reaching out to landlords and “vouching for [his] character,” in the hopes of helping Johnny “overcome some of those hurdles.”
In the meantime, Johnny is working to get his paperwork replaced to ensure he has a form of identification. The 34-year-old hopes to get a job with an Amazon warehouse and one day get his paramedic certification again.
The GoFundMe page has surpassed all of Kate and Johnny’s hopes. She told NJ.com:
When I still look at [the GoFundMe], it blows my mind. It’s actually going to happen for him.
To donate, visit Johnny’s GoFundMe page.