Oklahoma man walked 17 miles a day to work until stranger helped him raise over $47K
'I wasn’t expecting it, but really it was a true blessing he gave me a ride,' Donte Franklin said
For Oklahoma resident Donte Franklin, 20, every day was pretty much the same. He would walk 17 miles a day to get to work on the other side of town and back home. It was a hard day's work as he would leave home three hours before his shift started and then walk home after completing the whole day — all while walking under the scorching sun. And he was never late or missed a day.
All that changed when he met a stranger on one of his walks to work. A surprise ride from Michael Lynn changed Franklin's life as he knew it. And to the world, it sent a strong message of all the good that can happen when a community gets together to help those in need. "I wasn’t expecting it, but really it was a true blessing he gave me a ride," Donte Franklin said.
To get to work, the young man had to walk almost 8 miles. "I really don’t care if it gets tiring. I just have to keep pushing," he said, adding, "I walk just to make my family proud." He walked an average of five and a half hours a day to and fro work.
To get to work on time as a cook at the Buffalo Wild Wings, which is on the other side of the town of Moore, Franklin had to leave his house about three hours before his shift start. Franklin says he gets most of his motivation for making the walk from his mother, who is unfortunately no more. "She passed away when I was 16-years-old. She had Hepatitis C. After she passed away it’s just been hard for me," he said.
Help from a stranger
Last week, on one of the days when the Oklahoma sun was relentlessly blazing down, a stranger offered to pick him up in his car giving him a ride. That what ended up turning his life around for the good. "I’m like man he’s walking a long way," said Michael Lynn, the driver who offered Franklin a ride. When Lynn found out that Franklin had no money to get a bite, he gave him $20.
Lynn later took to Facebook to share Franklin's story. So impressed was he with Franklin's work ethic that he decided the young guy deserves help. The post took no time to go viral and has now been shared more than 1.4K times. In the post, Lynn, who was completely awed by Franklin, wrote about how they on the road and helped him out. He also pointed out how Franklin was walking without a shirt on because it was so hot.
"If it can make just one person go help someone else, that’s all that matters," Lynn said as per reports. Lynn then started a GoFundMe page to raise money for Franklin to get a car. At the time of writing this article, the page had well over surpassed its $2,000 goal and had raised $47,687 with over 1.3K donors and 7.2K shares.
And Franklin is grateful for all the help. "I can really help my family with this. It’s just a really good blessing." However, the blessings don't just stop there. As per reports, a local bike club has gifted him a brand new bicycle to help him out till he gets his driver's license.
And it looks like their newly-found friendship is here to stay. "I think we need to keep each other," Lynn said as the two hugged it out, "I love this guy like my own."