Paying it forward: NJ woman raises more than $300,000 for homeless man
BORDENTOWN — A South Jersey woman effort to pay forward the kindness of a homeless man had been more successful than she could have imagined.
As of 11 a.m. on Friday morning, the GoFundMe page she created to help Johnny, the homeless Marine veterans who helped her when she ran out of gas on Route 95 in Philadelphia, had raised more than $300,000 to help him get back on his feet.
McClure wrote that she would be accepting donations of clothing and toiletries in the parking lot of the ShopRite on Mount Holly Road, but later updated the site to say that the weekend drive has been postponed until they can "figure out a better time in the near future."
"Mark and I couldn’t begin to express how grateful we are that you guys made this little fantasy a reality," Kate McClure, of Florence, wrote in an update with her boyfriend Marc.
McClure wrote that her intention was to get him first-and-last month's rent on an apartment, a reliable vehicle and four to six months worth of money for expenses.
Johnny is spending the holiday weekend in a hotel.
"He is very interested in finding a job, and 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," McClure wrote.
McClure said she vowed to help Johnny, an ex-Marine, after he spent his last $20 on a tank of gas for her. She has brought him food, money and gift cards and created the GoFundMe page so she could do more.
Donations began to pour in as his story went viral and at one point McClure said Johnny told her to stop accepting donations.
"He is more than happy with the amount that has been raised so far, and didn’t want to seem like he is taking advantage," McClure wrote. She said Johnny will donate whatever he doesn't need to other groups or organizations.
"It will be his decision and his decision only on what organizations and or private parties he decides to help," McClure wrote.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This article has been updated to report that the Saturday event was postponed.