Funds pour in for US man who walks 34km a day

February 3, 2015 6:23 am

Hundreds of people have contributed tens of thousands of dollars to
help a Detroit man who says he typically walks 34 kilometers to get to
and from work.
The Detroit Free Press reports that James
Robertson rides buses part of the way to and from his factory job in
suburban Rochester Hills.
But because they don’t cover the whole
route, he ends up walking about 13 kilometers before his shift starts at
2 p.m. and 21 kilometers more when it’s over at 10 p.m. Lately, he’s
been getting occasional rides from a banker who passes him walking every
day and finally asked what he was doing.
After the newspaper
wrote about the 56-year-old’s situation over the weekend, multiple
people started crowdfunding efforts to help him buy a car and pay for
insurance. Some have offered to drive him for free and others have
offered to buy or give him cars.
Robertson began making the daily
trek to the factory where he molds parts after his car stopped working
ten years ago and bus service was cut back.

He’s had perfect attendance for more than 12 years.
“I
set our attendance standard by this man,” said Todd Wilson, plant
manager at Schain Mold & Engineering. “I say, if this man can get
here, walking all those miles through snow and rain, well I’ll tell you,
I have people in Pontiac 10 minutes away and they say they can’t get
here – bull!”
Evan Leedy, a 19-year-old student at Wayne State
University, read the story and started a GoFundMe site with the goal of
raising $5,000. As of Monday afternoon he had raised more than $70,000.
Robertson said he was flattered by the attention and amazed strangers would step in to help him out.
Asked
about a federal program newly available through Detroit’s bus system
that might pick him up at home and drop him off at his job, Robertson
said, “I’d rather they spent that money on a 24-hour bus system, not on
some little bus for me. This city needs buses going 24/7. You can tell
the city council and mayor I said that.”

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