Update: The amount raised as of Thursday afternoon now stands at more than $230,000.
Kate McClure, 27, was driving into Philly on southbound I-95 last month to visit a friend when her car started sputtering. She pulled onto the nearest exit ramp and made it to the bottom just as she ran out of gas. It was 11 p.m. Dark. She was alone.
“My heart was beating out of my chest,” McClure said. “I didn’t know what the heck to do.” She called her boyfriend, Mark D’Amico, 38, who said he’d come get her.
That’s when Johnny, a homeless man who often sits on the guard rail at the exit ramp, reading a book, depending on the kindness of strangers, appeared out of the night.
Johnny told her to lock her doors, sit tight, and he’d spend his last $20 to buy gas a few blocks away. “He said, ‘I’ll be back. Trust me,’ ” said McClure, who works for the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
“Ten minutes later,” D’Amico said, “she called me and said the guy brought her gas.”
McClure had no cash to pay Johnny. She promised to come back and repay him. He trusted her as she had trusted him, and one random act of kindness soon inspired another.
The next day, the Florence couple drove by, thanked Johnny again, and repaid him. “We drove away and went on with our lives,” D’Amico said. But they kept returning, giving Johnny a few dollars each time, and talking for a few minutes.
$400,000 has supposedly been raised through crowd funding (GoFundMe) for the homeless vet (Bobbitt), but it has gotten rather ugly. The homeless vet now accuses the couple (McClure & D’Amico) of misusing the money raised through crowd funding, and the couple accuse the homeless vet of misusing the raised funds to sustain his coke addiction. After $400,000 raised through crowd funding, the homeless vet has returned to panhandling.