At a time when we have plenty of reason to be down on social media, it’s wonderful to find a story like this being shared all around on Facebook: Young Marine named Walter makes tremendous impression with his humility and work ethic, walking literally from midnight till dawn to make 20-mile trip to get to first job as trainee with moving company. Walter’s 2003 clunker car had conked out and he couldn’t find a ride, but he wasn’t going to let that keep him from his first day on the job as a “Bellhop.” A police officer found him walking when he was almost to the worksite, took him to breakfast and drove him the rest of the way. He worked a full day after that, just as energetically as everybody else. Jenny Lamey, the woman whose family was moving that day, was so touched by this that she wrote the “moving day” story and posted it on Facebook. I’ll wait while you go and read it.
Since being posted on July 15, this story has now been shared 2.6 million times and has even been translated into Chinese.
But the story continues. In just 24 hours, hundreds of responses had been posted by people who were deeply moved by Walter’s story and who wanted to help him get some reliable transportation. She set up a GoFundMe page for him to raise $2,000, and donations poured in to a stunning degree. To gain an understanding of the impact Walter has made in the lives of his new friends and co-workers (and vice versa), go to that page and watch the video of him being handed the keys to the car that was gifted to him. Have Kleenex nearby.
Since so much more money has been raised than Jenny set as the goal, a financial advisor has volunteered to work with Walter pro bono to help him manage the funds. Walter was overwhelmed by this generosity and decided when the amount reached $66,292 that anything over that would be donated to a charity that has benefited him and is close to his heart, the Birmingham Ed Foundation, dedicated to increasing the number of students in Birmingham City Schools who are on the path to “college, career and life readiness.”
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