US woman raises more than $100,000 for homeless man who used last $20 to buy her petrol when she ran out

Fund to help pay for rent, a car and living costs passes $116,000

Benjamin Kentish
Thursday 23 November 2017 14:11 GMT
Kate McClure said she has been visiting Johnny regularly since he helped her
Kate McClure said she has been visiting Johnny regularly since he helped her (GoFundMe)

A US woman has raised more than $100,000 for a homeless man who gave her his last few dollars when she ran out of petrol.

Kate McClure, 27, was driving on the I-95 interstate motorway in Philadelphia when she noticed she had an empty tank. She pulled over and, realising she did not have any money on her, was approached by a homeless man named Johnny.

He told her the area was unsafe and advised her to remain in the car with the doors locked. He then went and filled a can of petrol using his last $20.

Ms McClure promised to return to pay Johnny back and later set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for him. Donations flooded in, quickly exceeding the initial $10,000 target

So far the fund for the former ammunition technician has passed $116,000.

Ms McClure wrote on the page: "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.

"That’s when I met Johnny. Johnny sits on the side of the road every day, holding a sign. He saw me pull over and knew something was wrong. He told me to get back in the car and lock the doors. 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."

Ms McClure said that, since then, she has been visiting Johnny by the roadside and given him a jacket, hat, gloves and warm socks, as well as a few dollars whenever she sees him.

Describing him as a “great guy”, she said she hoped to raise enough money to help Johnny rent an apartment and a vehicle and cover six months of living costs.

She added: “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.

“Please help this man get into a home. It is already getting so cold out in Philadelphia, and I can’t imagine what it will be like to be out there all winter.”

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in