An Oklahoma man's life was changed forever after the kindness of a stranger made his long walk to work much more bearable.
Donte Franklin used to walk over 8 miles both ways to get to work. But after his story went viral online, Franklin won't have to walk anymore.
A GoFundMe fundraiser has gifted him more than just money.
Franklin used to walk 17 miles to get to and from his job at a Buffalo Wild Wings across town. He can't always get a ride, which means walking is his only way to get there in his town.
This would mean that to get to work on time, he'd have to leave more than 3 hours before his shift. But Franklin kept pushing for his family.
One day, Michael Lynn saw Franklin walking in the hot summer sun.
"I'm like man he's walking a long way."
On the ride, Lynn learned of Franklin's situation and was impressed by the effort. He shared the story to Facebook and created a GoFundMe for the man that as of writing has raised nearly $50,000 for Franklin's family.
It's a touching story to many commenters.
Lynn said of the situation:
"If it can make just one person go help someone else that's all that matters."
Lynn has also expressed his joy at being in Franklin's life comparing him to family.
Franklin's situation sounds outrageous to some, but the man did what he felt he had to do for his family. Despite the long walk, he never missed a shift, or was even late.
He said his memories of his mother gave him strength:
"She passed away when I was 16-years-old. She had Hepatitis C. After she passed away it's just been hard for me."
As great as it is that Franklin's situation has improved, many questioned why there weren't better options for him in the first place.
A portion of the money is earmarked to buy Franklin a car to drive to work in. However, he needs to get his driver license first.
In the meantime, a local bike club, My Riding Buddies Oklahoma, have gifted him with a bike to make things easier until he can drive.
Though, this was also questioned by some.
Economic mobility in this country is exceedingly difficult, as poverty can often trap you in a cycle that keeps you there. So, when a community can come together to assist someone, it's pretty nice to celebrate it.
But asking why people are forced into these situations in the first place is always important too.