BREAKING NEWS Minnesota will continue to ease restrictions at restaurants, gyms starting Wednesday Full Story

Homeless vet who received thousands in donations plans to pay it forward

When homeless veteran Johnny Bobbitt Jr. used his last $20 to buy Kate McClure gas after her car ran empty and stoppe...

Posted: Dec 10, 2017 6:36 AM
Updated: Dec 10, 2017 6:36 AM

When homeless veteran Johnny Bobbitt Jr. used his last $20 to buy Kate McClure gas after her car ran empty and stopped on Interstate 95, he didn't know his good deed would change his life.

In October, McClure was driving down Interstate 95 in Philadelphia when she ran out of gas. Scared, she got out of the car to head to the nearest gas station and met Bobbitt. He told her to get back in the vehicle and lock the door. Minutes later, he emerged with a red gas can. With the last bit of his money, he saved her.

More than $400,000 has been raised for Johnny Bobbitt since launch of GoFundMe page

Bobbitt has decided to use some of his money to help other homeless veterans.

McClure, touched by Bobbitt's selflessness, decided to pay it forward, finding ways to help him in the following weeks and then launching a GoFundMe page to help collect donations for him.

"Going into this, we didn't know who Johnny was or if he was a good person," said McClure. "But that didn't matter. It was that experience with him, when he helped me. That was all I needed."

Now, only a month later, Bobbitt has bought a house, is buying a car and plans to adopt a dog. And while the grand scheme for his new life is still in the works, Bobbitt has decided it's time to return the favor.

A new step toward a new life

After talking to him a few times after he helped her, McClure launched the GoFundMe for Bobbitt to pay him back for his generosity and kindness. Her goal was to reach $10,000 -- just enough to pay for his first and last month's rent, a reliable vehicle, and enough money to sustain him for six months. It would be enough to survive, at least for a while.

But in 27 days, McClure has raised more than $400,000, all of which is going to Bobbitt. In just a little bit of time, McClure, with the help of her boyfriend, Mark D'Amico, changed Bobbitt's life.

When Bobbitt got his first new computer (and learned how to use emojis), the first thing he did was thank more than 14,000 people, all who donated to his future.

"I am deeply humbled and so incredibly grateful for the attention and love that I have received thus far," Bobbitt wrote on the page.

"I will never be able to put into words how I feel and all the emotions I have felt because of this experience."

On Monday, Bobbitt purchased his new home, using the hundreds of thousands of dollars donated by people around the world to help him start a new chapter in life.

And now, Bobbitt is going after buying his dream car: a 1999 Ford Ranger. He has two trust funds set up in his name, one if which is for his retirement. The retirement trust will also go toward his dream of someday living in a cabin in the country and owning his own piece of land.

With the help of McClure and D'Amico, Bobbitt will have a bank account set up for him with funds needed until he finds a job.

Giving back to humanity

Since the beginning, Bobbitt has shared everything he had with anyone around him who needed it, according to McClure.

After McClure met Bobbitt, she came back to him often, giving him a few dollars or something to eat. She repaid him for the gas and gave him a jacket, hat, gloves and socks.

But no matter how much or how little he had, he still wanted to help others. When McClure gave him a bag of cereal bars, he first thanked her -- then asked if she wanted one, she said.

Another time, she gave him two gift cards to a convenience store and a case of water. The first thing he said then was how excited he was to show his friends -- two other homeless men who were close to Bobbitt.

Bobbitt, a North Carolina native, lived in Missoula, Montana, according to his Facebook page. He studied nursing and was a former paramedic and firefighter. He also served in the Marine Corps, according to the page.

CNN has tried to reach Bobbitt for comment but has not received a response.

While Bobbitt's life may have changed in a single month, that's not the only thing on his mind.

His first goal is to donate to organizations around Philadelphia that helped him get through the rough patches. He also wants to find people who are stuck where he used to be.

Bobbitt's devotion to helping people has led him to finding homeless veterans who need the help he graciously received.

And to McClure, Bobbitt is not the only one who deserves a second chance.

"Nobody should be on the streets," she said. "Nobody."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 26980

Reported Deaths: 1159
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin9099657
Ramsey3351149
Stearns205614
Nobles15775
Anoka152779
Dakota144664
Washington70035
Olmsted68911
Rice5243
Kandiyohi5141
Scott4712
Clay44930
Mower4462
Wright3492
Todd3441
Sherburne2492
Carver2402
Benton1853
Steele1700
Freeborn1590
Blue Earth1490
Martin1355
St. Louis11914
Lyon1012
Unassigned9611
Pine930
Nicollet8811
Cottonwood820
Winona8115
Crow Wing815
Watonwan790
Carlton750
Goodhue736
Otter Tail731
Chisago691
Polk632
Itasca5610
Dodge540
Chippewa521
Morrison480
Le Sueur471
Douglas460
Meeker460
Becker440
Jackson420
Murray410
McLeod410
Isanti360
Pennington300
Waseca290
Mille Lacs241
Rock230
Faribault220
Wabasha200
Swift191
Beltrami180
Sibley170
Brown172
Fillmore171
Norman150
Pipestone130
Kanabec121
Aitkin120
Marshall120
Cass112
Big Stone110
Wilkin113
Wadena100
Pope100
Koochiching90
Redwood70
Yellow Medicine70
Renville70
Mahnomen61
Lincoln60
Red Lake40
Traverse40
Grant40
Clearwater30
Houston30
Hubbard30
Lac qui Parle30
Roseau30
Stevens10
Lake10
Kittson10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 21114

Reported Deaths: 593
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk4614140
Woodbury286137
Black Hawk178849
Buena Vista10672
Linn97879
Dallas95226
Marshall91418
Wapello63615
Johnson6198
Muscatine56741
Crawford5512
Tama41129
Scott38510
Dubuque35921
Louisa35011
Pottawattamie31910
Sioux3060
Jasper26917
Wright2210
Washington1968
Warren1671
Plymouth1522
Story1311
Allamakee1204
Mahaska9913
Poweshiek928
Hamilton760
Webster741
Henry732
Boone720
Bremer716
Clarke690
Des Moines681
Taylor660
Clinton651
Guthrie553
Cedar501
Benton431
Cherokee410
Monroe415
Jones370
Shelby370
Osceola360
Jefferson360
Marion350
Dickinson350
Buchanan341
Iowa340
Clayton343
Cerro Gordo331
Madison292
Lee290
Sac280
Davis280
Emmet270
Fayette270
Clay270
Monona260
Harrison260
Hardin240
Lyon240
Winneshiek240
Lucas222
Mills200
Grundy200
Franklin200
Humboldt201
Pocahontas200
Delaware191
Floyd191
Hancock180
Appanoose173
Butler161
Kossuth160
Carroll151
Ida150
Greene150
Keokuk140
Jackson140
Page140
Audubon131
Cass130
Chickasaw130
Howard120
Winnebago110
Calhoun100
Union100
Van Buren90
Adair90
Montgomery92
Adams70
Palo Alto70
Ringgold40
Fremont40
Mitchell40
Worth30
Unassigned20
Wayne10
Decatur10
Rochester
Broken Clouds
61° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 61°
Mason City
Broken Clouds
66° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 66°
Albert Lea
Broken Clouds
64° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 64°
Austin
Scattered Clouds
61° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 61°
Charles City
Overcast
66° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 66°
Weekend looks nice
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Chris' PM Weather Forecast 6/5

Image

Gyms, fitness centers set to reopen

Image

Easing restrictions for MN restaurants and gyms

Image

Charles City vigil for George Floyd

Image

Hawkeye Harvest Foodbank partnership

Image

Next phase of Minnesota reopening

Image

Rental Assistance program for Rochester

Image

IA Care Homes Could Reopen to Visitors

Image

'Color Me Mine' Location Closes for Good

Image

Getting Your Fair Food Fix During the Pandemic

Community Events