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Inspiring Story of Hard Work Rewarded

detroit man

Between all the snow and ice that has fallen across the Midwest and Northeast in the last few weeks, you might have been under the impression that you have a hard commute. It’s likely, though, that your commute is nothing in comparison to Detroit’s James Robertson.

Jobs aren’t easy to come by in the Motor City, so broke it’s known for its foreclosures selling for less than $1,000. So when Robertson’s car broke down and he couldn’t afford to fix it, he didn’t just stop showing up or ask for a handout. He walked. Twenty one miles.

When the local media profiled the man, in a city where thousands of residents haven’t even paid their water bills, help came pouring in. The Today Show reports on the deluge of donations,

Thanks to an online fundraiser started by Wayne State University student Evan Leedy, 19, Robertson’s commute may be changing. Leedy read about Robertson’s story on Facebook via the Detroit Free Press and decided to help. He set up a GoFundMe page in hopes of getting a bit of money to help Robertson buy a car.

“At first I wanted to figure how to get James a ride to where he needs to go,” he told TODAY.

His initial fundraising goal was $5,000.

“I wasn’t expecting it to go anywhere,” he told TODAY.com.

But within the first hour $2,000 had been donated. By the end of the day Monday, $37,000 had been raised, and now Robertson’s fund is $140,000 and climbing.

“One of the coolest things to see is that there’s been a few large donations, but 90 percent of the donations have been $50 or less,” Leedy said. “There have been over 2,000 donors, and all of that has added up. All it took was a little bit of money from all these people.”

There are enough hard-luck stories out of Detroit to fill the evening newscasts across the country for years. What made Robertson’s so inspiring was that he took the adversity in stride, kept his nose down and worked incredibly hard. That kind of mental and physical fortitude and work ethic is becoming vanishingly rare in a country that was built on it. Thousands of Americans felt moved enough to give not only by Robertson’s plight but also by his dedication.

Comment below! Who inspires you with their hard work?

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