Wayne State University Student Raises $140,000 for Man Who Walks 21 Miles to Work

Evan Leedy, right, 19, of Macomb Township and James Robertson, 56, of Detroit, meet for the first time at Mr. B's Pub in Rochester, Mich., on Feb. 2, 2015. (Photo: Ryan Garza, Detroit Free Press)
Evan Leedy, right, 19, of Macomb Township and James Robertson, 56, of Detroit, meet for the first time at Mr. B’s Pub in Rochester, Mich., on Feb. 2, 2015.
(Photo: Ryan Garza, Detroit Free Press)

Two days ago, James Robertson couldn’t afford a car to drive to work more than 20 miles away from his home — and today he can afford a small fleet.

After the Detroit Free Press told of Robertson’s arduous 21-mile trek to and from his suburban factory job, the story inspired thousands of donations from across the nation. A day later, the soft-spoken machine operator got to meet the computer student from Wayne State University who launched an Internet crowd-funding site to gather more than $140,000 — a figure expected to continue to climb today.

At Mr. B’s Food & Spirits bar in downtown Rochester, the two hugged and were interviewed Monday night for national television shows and People magazine. The weathered factory guy, munching on pizza and wearing heavy work boots in which he’s made countless walks to work, sat beside Evan Leedy, 19, of Macomb Township, a fresh-scrubbed techie who conceived the cash-churning GoFundMe web page in support of Robertson.

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Source: USA Today | Bill Laitner, Detroit Free Press

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