The Detroit Free Press recently ran an article that told the story of James Robertson, a man who walks 21 miles a day to work, five days a week. The story went viral and the internet responded brilliantly. A GoFundMe fundraiser was created to try to raise enough money to buy a car for Robertson. In only seven hours, the crowdfund has not only reached the initial goal of raising $25,000, but has blown past it bringing in over $29,000 at the time this article was written. The crowdfund was started by Evan Leedy. Leedy is trying to get in contact with car dealerships, Ford, Chrysler, or GM to try to get a car.
The Detroit Free Press Reports:
“Leaving home in Detroit at 8 a.m., James Robertson doesn’t look like an endurance athlete.
Pudgy of form, shod in heavy work boots, Robertson trudges almost haltingly as he starts another workday.
But as he steps out into the cold, Robertson, 56, is steeled for an Olympic-sized commute. Getting to and from his factory job 23 miles away in Rochester Hills, he’ll take a bus partway there and partway home. And he’ll also walk an astounding 21 miles.
Five days a week. Monday through Friday.
It’s the life Robertson has led for the last decade, ever since his 1988 Honda Accord quit on him.
Every trip is an ordeal of mental and physical toughness for this soft-spoken man with a perfect attendance record at work. And every day is a tribute to how much he cares about his job, his boss and his coworkers. Robertson’s daunting walks and bus rides, in all kinds of weather, also reflect the challenges some metro Detroiters face in getting to work in a region of limited bus service, and where car ownership is priced beyond the reach of many.”
Here is a must watch video about him.
Here is what some of the backers are saying:
“Best wishes to you, James. Your story of hard work and determination touched me very much. I hope you receive enough money, not only for a car, but to pay for insurance and gas. And I really hope that you can now get more than two hours of sleep a night. Blessings to you, and thank you, Evan for starting this!”
“I’m inspired beyond words. I see this gentleman on Crooks Rd. every single day come rain or shine. I’m honored to help his cause, and I thank those that put this funding account into action. Collectively, we can make a difference. Hats off to you Mr. Robertson, you are one incredible and determined human being.”
The outpouring of support from people all over the world is truly amazing. Detroit is in desperate need for improvements in their infrastructure (well the entire U.S does but Detroit especially) and we need politicians elected to the government on the local, state, and federal levels to make that happen. It is wonderful to see a man display such a diligent work ethic. No one should have to go through such extremes just to make a living though.
Featured Image Credit: Screenshot via GoFundMe