Scripture: Proverbs 10:4; Proverbs 20:13; Galatians 6:9
Source: “Detroit man who commuted by foot 21 miles a day surprised with donated car” by Stephanie Gallman, posted FEBRUARY 6, 2015, by CNN WIRE
Author: Illustration Exchange
Fifty-six year old James Robertson is a native of Detroit, MI. Over the years, he’s seen the ravages of hard times eat way at the economy and the job market of the city he calls home. With limited options close to home, he was forced to take a job outside Detroit in neighboring Rochester Hills, where he would come to earn $10.55/hr for a job in an engineering factory. It was a 21 mile round trip commute, which wasn’t so bad until 10 years ago when his 1988 Honda Accord conked out on him. Unable to afford a new vehicle (who could on a $10.55/hr wage?!), he was left to hoof it.
That’s right—for the past 10 yrs, James Robertson has walked the 21 mile round trip trek to work. Even more amazingly, he has managed to achieve perfect attendance.
Robertson sometimes indulged in riding the bus for part of his journey, as well as occasionally enjoying a lift here and there from a compassionate commuter. But most of the miles (some 54,600 of them!) have been trod on the soles of his feet.
Blake Pollack, a financial executive who travels a similar route to work, first spotted Robertson about a year and a half ago. “Climbing over snow banks, when it was pouring down rain in the summer,” Pollack said, “whatever the weather, he was there.”
Pollack approached Robertson, heard his story, and promised to give him a ride the next time he saw him. He has since driven him to work, he estimates, between 40 to 50 times. Pollack and Robertson have since become good friends.
Pollack began sharing the story which eventually caught the attention of a 19 yr old college student, Evan Leedy, who identified with Robertson’s plight and started a GoFundMe page to raise money to help buy him a car. Leedy was hoping to raise at least $5000 to go toward a used vehicle. His hopes, however, were far exceeded when, in a matter of days, the donations exceeded $300,000!
Pollack and Leedy worked together to surprise him with a brand new 2015 Ford Taurus. It’s the car Robertson said he dreamed of owning someday because it is simple on the outside and tough on the inside, just like him.
Pollack has also arranged for attorneys and financial planners to help manage Robertson’s new found fortune in an effort to ward off those who’d seek to take advantage, and to help him plan for a financially sound future.
Fox News reported Leedy saying, “This money that is being given to him — he earned every penny of it, just by his work ethic and his attitude.”
Robertson is filled with deep appreciation, calling those who donated to his cause the real heroes of this story.
He has no plans to quit working. “I can’t imagine not working,” Robertson said. “It’s what I’ve always done.”
If total strangers respond so generously to the humble efforts of a faithful man, imagine how God will respond to our humble efforts to faithfully serve Him. Don’t grow weary in well doing. Continue to doggedly put one foot in front of the other, and store up for yourself blessings beyond measure.
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).
“A slack hand causes poverty, but the hand of the diligent makes rich” (Proverbs 10:4, ESV). “Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty; open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread” (Proverbs 20:13, ESV).