When you do a good deed for someone, it's a selfless act. Sure, it makes you feel good to know you're lending a hand to someone who needs it, so in that sense you get a reward. But in a more practical sense, you're not getting any reward at all. You expect nothing in return, and a simple "thank you," while appreciated, isn't even necessary.
Kate explained, "Driving into Philly one night, I made the mistake of thinking that I would be able to make it all the way down I- 95 with my gas light on. Needless to say, I was wrong. I never ran out of gas before, and my heart was beating out of my chest. I pulled over as far as I could, and got out of the car to head to the nearest gas station." But, as it turned out, she never made it that gas station after all.
After getting out of the car, Kate was stopped by this homeless man and veteran, Johnny Bobbit. "He saw me pull over and knew something was wrong. He told me to get back in the car and lock the doors." It's unusual instructions to get from a stranger, but Kate obliged.
So what exactly was Johnny up to? According to Kate, "A few minutes later, he comes back with a red gas can. Using his last 20 dollars to make sure I could get home safe." He clearly needed the money more than she did, but he preferred to use it to help out someone else.
After Johnny lent her a hand, Kate lent one back. Over the next few weeks, "I repaid him for the gas, gave him a jacket, gloves, a hat, and warm socks, and I give him a few dollars every time I see him," she said. But she wanted to do more.
To really help Johnny get back on his feet, Kate launched a GoFundMe campaign. Her goal was to raise $10,000 as a way to thank him for his selfless act. "With the money, I would like to get him first and last month’s rent at an apartment, a reliable vehicle, and 4-6 months worth of expenses," she said.
As word of Johnny's selfless act and Kate's GoFundMe started to spread, so did the media coverage. They even got to be interviewed together on Good Morning America. While on the show, Johnny discussed his plans for all that money.
During the interview, Johnny said he didn't want to rush into figuring out what to do with the money. "I want to change my life, but you know it just happened," he told GMA. "I need to time to figure it all out."
However, Kate updated the GoFundMe to reveal that some decisions have been made on what Johnny will do with his windfall. "The first thing on the list is a NEW Home which Johnny will own!! He will never have to worry about a roof over his head again!!" Kate said. "Second will be the dream truck he's always wanted... a 1999 Ford Ranger."
Kate also said that measures will be taken to make sure Johnny takes care of his cash wisely. "There will also be 2 trusts set up in his name, one essentially giving him the ability to collect a small 'salary' each year, and another retirement trust which will be wisely invested by a financial planner," she said. In addition, "A bank account will be set up for him with funds for every day needs that will get him through until he finds a job."
But just like Johnny was kind enough to help out Kate when she was in need, he's now planning to help out others. Kate said he's going to donate some of the money "to a few organizations and people who over the last couple of years have helped him get through this rough patch in his life." Because, of course, that's exactly what he would do.
"This money was given to help me," Johnny said. "Why not help other people in similar situations or people that are actively helping other people in different situations?" So the next time you see someone run out of gas on the road, it might be wise to rush to their rescue. (Just don't expect the same kind of result that happened here.)