Eight miles to work, thirteen miles home.
On Sunday, the
Detroit Free Press
ran a story on James Robertson, a 56-year-old man who walks 21 miles a day, to and from work because the buses don't cover much of his route. Thanks to the generosity of readers in Detroit and around the country, James won't be walking to work much longer:
A Downriver car dealership offered to give him a 2014 Chevrolet Cruz or Sonic. "He gets to choose," said Angela Osborne, customer service specialist at Rodgers Chevrolet in Woodhaven.
"We were just impressed with his determination," Osborne said.
He's not just getting a car. Evan Leedy, a college student from Fort Wayne University was so taken with James Robertson's story that he set up a GoFundMe.com fundraising page:
Before he knew it, thousands of dollars were coming in. One day later, more 5,300 people donated a total in excess of $149,000.
"We now have car dealerships and car companies saying they will donate a car," Leedy says. "We can now use this money to truly change James' life."
One commuter who'd noticed James walking day after day is helping him take steps to manage the money:
UBS banker Blake Pollock, who befriended Robertson while stopped in Oakland County and has given him dozens of rides this winter, said he was thrilled but wary about the outpouring of donations.
During his own commutes to his office in Troy, Pollock last year began noting Robertson's foot-slogging commutes, day after day, and finally offered him a ride. Now, they're fast friends.
On Sunday, Pollock said he planned to set up a board "of several professionals" to oversee the donations rolling in for Robertson.
Watch James Robertson's incredible story here:
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