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The Crowdfunding Effect

Detroit Man Other Detroit picture

Imagine walking 21 miles to and from work every single day–rain, snow, or shine. On top of that, imagine having a perfect attendance record at work despite this 21-mile walk. To anyone, this would seem like a daunting and arduous task. For James Robertson, however, it was a daily routine for 10 years.

His daily commute started by riding a SMART bus from inside Detroit to another bus stop near an upscale mall outside the city limits. From there he walks about 7 miles to a factory he works at. At the end of his 2-10 P.M. shift, he walks back to the mall and catches the last bus into Detroit, taking him to the city’s border. From there he walks home for the last 5 miles in the dark.

56-year-old Robertson’s car quit in 2005 and he hasn’t been able to afford a car since then. An article about Robertson’s commute in the Detroit Free Press inspired 19-year-old college student Evan Leedy to get in touch with others that had already started to raise money to create a collaborative GoFundMe site for Robertson.

Within an hour, the page had raised $2,000 in donations. Those donations now total close to $250,000. With the generosity of others, Robertson will now be able to afford a new car, fuel, maintenance, and much more. He is in no hurry to spend the donations and sees how important it is to manage the funds appropriately, and is working to have a plan on how to move forward.

“I’m always going to be in your debt — I will never forget this,” Robertson told Leedy.

When individuals come together for a common cause–in this case Robertson’s cause–it really shows the power we have in changing a life. Crowdfunding is a popular and effective way to accomplish such lofty goals, and changing lives and inspiring others is what giving back to your community is all about.

To see the USA Today article, click here.