Man who walks 21 miles to and from work gets help
Man who walks 21 miles to and from work gets help James Robertson, 56, of Detroit, walks toward Woodward Aveune in Detroit to catch his morning bus to Somerset Collection in Troy before walking to his job at Schain Mold & Engineering in Rochester Hill (AP photos)
Man who walks 21 miles to and from work gets help
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Hundreds of people have contributed tens of thousands of dollars to help a man who says he typically walks 21 miles 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, Mich., but because they don't cover the whole route, he ends up walking about 8 miles before his shift starts at 2 p.m. and 13 more when it's over at 10. Lately, he's been getting occasional rides from a banker who passed him walking every day and finally asked what he was doing.

After the newspaper wrote about the 56-year-old's situation, multiple people started efforts to help him buy a car and pay for insurance. Some have offered to drive him for free while 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 working10 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 evening, he had raised more than $90,000.

Robertson said he was flattered by the attention and amazed strangers would step in to help.

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."

Critical thinking challenge: What does Todd Wilson mean by this statement: "I set our attendance standard by this man."

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Assigned 48 times

  • joshn-Koc
    2/08/2015 - 02:06 p.m.

    What Todd Wilson means when he says "I set our attendance standard by this man" is that if James Robertson, the man who walks 21 miles, can get there with those conditions, anyone can get there especially of they have a car.

  • raevynj-Koc
    2/08/2015 - 05:22 p.m.

    I find this man to be very inspiring pushing forward like that. He is a responsible man who makes no excuses. I think it's nice that others are trying to help him because that must be tough to walk everyday getting older.

  • alexisb-Koc
    2/08/2015 - 08:34 p.m.

    I think this man is absolutely amazing. To have to the will power to get up everyday and walk like that is beyond me. And the fact that he's had a perfect attendance record is incredible. He has to be one of the most hardworking and dedicated people I've seen in all my years. Those who've helped him are definitely great people. I'm happy to hear that people have come together to help this extraordinary man.

  • havenr-Koc
    2/08/2015 - 09:23 p.m.

    I had heard about this amazing story a couple of weeks ago and it just filled my heart with joy. Such beautiful, random acts of kindness are what makes this earth spin around.

  • jorgeh-Koc
    2/09/2015 - 12:12 a.m.

    I think the fact that this man walks to and from work everyday for miles and still manages to get to work on time is astonishing, if this man manages to get to work on time being that he walks miles and miles with no car than everyone else should be able to get to school and work on time it just a matter of wanting too.

  • adrianas-Koc
    2/09/2015 - 12:46 a.m.

    I think this story is pretty amazing. It shows this guys dedication to get to work each and every day because he could have quit 21 miles is a long journey. I'm glad people raised money for him because he deserves it.

  • vincet-Koc
    2/09/2015 - 12:58 a.m.

    i believe that there are still great people in this world, helping a hard working man get to work even though he offers to walk 21 miles gives me hope.

  • nylienc-Koc
    2/09/2015 - 01:34 a.m.

    I don't blame those people for helping him because just by seeing him in the pictures it looks like he's under a lot of stress and it might be from traveling a those miles

  • mattf-Koc
    2/09/2015 - 03:27 a.m.

    I think this is amazing that this man walks nearly 21 miles to work everyday. It just shows the shear determination and will power that he has and truly inspires me. In addition the fact that people donated 90K to him is even more amazing.

  • TaylorHartman-Ste
    2/09/2015 - 09:22 a.m.

    Truthfully, I think that this man is very courageous. It is also awesome to read about people wanting to be there for him and offer him rides. It is great to see that people still truly care about one another.

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