Man who walks 21 miles a day gets free car
And you thought commuting in Metro Manila was hard?
Everyday, James Robertson walks 21 miles to commute to work. For 10 years, Robertson has been carless since his last unit broke down. That all changed when an outpouring of support from netizens around the world pooled more than $300,000 (more than P13 million!) through the GoFundMe campaign. Today, he is getting a Ford Taurus, for free.
23-mile long journey
The story of the 56-year old native of Detroit, Michigan first appeared in an article in the Detroit Free Press. Robertson's inherited residence, where he lives with his girlfriend, is 23 miles away from his workplace in a manufacturing plant in Rochester Hills, Michigan. Despite the long agonizing five-day-a-week walk, he still managed to retain the best attendance record in his company.
Setting a standard in politeness
Because of the terrible public transport system in his area, Robertson could only afford to ride a bus that traveled a couple of the miles of his 23 mile daily journey. He had to walk the remaining distance.
This, however, did not deter the hardworking fellow who set a standard for being polite to the firm he works for, Schain Mold & Engineering. One manager was even quoted saying that if Robertson could get to work in his condition, other workers had no excuses. Robertson makes $10.55 an hour at his job.
Internet to the rescue
After his story appeared in the Detroit daily, one of the few writers who spread the idea of getting Robertson a car was Steve Lehto, who posted in Opposite Lock. The story became viral, especially with the on-set of the cold month of February. People began to ask how they could help the carless guy get a new set of wheels.
Evan Leedy, a college student, decided to set up a dedicated GoFundMe page for Robertson with an initial target of only $5,000. But the power of social media proved to be more than capable of raising car-money for the Detroit chap. At the time of writing, the public funding page has raised more than $300,000.
From what Jalopnik posted, Robertson seems to have no idea he is getting a red and black Ford Taurus from a local car dealership in Sterling Heights, MI. The 56-year-old man does not have a phone or computer, and may have yet to discover that his story has gone viral. It was also reported that Robertson has no immediate plans to quit his job, despite the money he will receive.
Why a $27,000 Ford Taurus? According to Robertson: "I remember the Taurus. They look comfortable, nothing fancy. They're simple on the outside, strong on the inside - like me."