An Oklahoma man’s long, hot journeys of walking 17 miles to work each day are over, thanks to the kindness of a Good Samaritan who helped get him a bike – and is now working on securing him a car. Donte Franklin, 20, is a cook at Buffalo Wild Wings, and typically leaves three hours before his shift starts so he can make the eight-mile trek in about two-and-a-half hours, he told Fox affiliate KOKH.
“I really don’t care if it gets tiring, I just have to keep pushing,” Franklin, who said life has been “hard” since his mother depart when he was 16, told the outlet. “I walk just to make my family proud.” It was during one of those long walks that Michael Lynn happened to spot Franklin while running errands on a particularly toasty day.
“I was going down 12th Street and I saw him,” Lynn told ABC affiliate KOCO. “I was thinking, ‘Boy it’s a hot day.’ One thing led to another, and I’m finding out he’s [walking to work]… I just couldn’t believe it.”
Lynn offered Franklin a ride to work, and after learning more about his circumstances, was moved to write a social media post about him, which soon caught the eye of Kerri Collins. Collins, who is the administrator of My Riding Buddies Oklahoma (MRBO) and Bikers for Elves, a biker charity group of which her husband is the founder, told KOCO that the post “opened [her] heart.”
“Anytime I see something posted concerning anybody anywhere in Oklahoma, I immediately jump in and we do whatever we can do as a group,” she told the outlet. “It just touched me that this man is only 20 years old and is walking to two different jobs with nothing in the heat.” Before long, the group had secured a brand-new bike for Franklin to ride to work, and presented it to him together. “I can really help my family with this. It’s just a really good blessing,” he told KOKH, adding to KOCO: “I really appreciate it. I’m thankful for it.”
Now, Lynn is helping raise money to buy a car for Franklin to make his commute even easier, with a GoFundMe page that has so far raised more than $32,000. “He’s a great guy, always helping out with his community,” the post says. “He deserves this very much.”Franklin, who is studying to become a welder, does not yet have his drivers license, but will rely on his bike until he gets it, KOCO reported.”I think we need to help each other.
I love this guy like my own,” Lynn told KOKH. “If it can make just one person go help someone else, that’s all that matters.”
This is how people reacted to this post:
New Era – So sad, but at least he got a bike. This is like a great grandfather telling the old story ” I used to walk miles in the snow and heat just to get to some lies in the public school system.”
DUMB SMART – Donte, u were on the news this morning in south Korea with this story. with ur level of commitment and work ethics, u can really go places man. much love and respect from Seoul!
B S – Is there an udate to this story? I heard they raised money for a car and for college.
Is that true?
This Article Was First Published on people.com