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 he walks 13 more when it's over at 10. Lately, he's been getting occasional rides. A banker who passed him walking every day finally asked what he was doing. The banker offered Robertson a lift.
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 10 years ago. His car had stopped working and bus service was cut back. At work, he molds parts and 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. The goal was to raise $5,000. As of Monday evening, he had raised more than $90,000.
Robertson said he was flattered by the attention. He's also 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."