Like many Americans, James Robertson commutes every day to and from work, but what sets him apart from others is that he walks 21 miles of his 46-mile round-trip commute every day.
The 56-year old from Detroit works as an injection molder at plastic parts manufacturer Schain Mold & Engineering in Rochester Hills, Michigan. He once had a 1988 Honda accord, but after his car quit on him, Robertson had to settle with limited public transportation, occasional rides and his own feet to make it to and from work every day.
Unlike other American workers who can easily buy themselves a new car once their old one has broken down, Robertson could not afford to buy one because of his small salary. He only earns $10.55 in an hour. He could not move to a home closer to work, either, because the house he and his girlfriend reside in was inherited.
Because of his situation, Robertson had to leave home by 8 a.m. for him to be on time for work. His shift starts at 2 p.m. and ends at 10 p.m. He would catch the last Detroit-bound bus at 1 a.m. and get home at 4 a.m., which means he barely has enough time to sleep and rest.
Despite' Robertson's challenging everyday trek, he was still able to have a pristine attendance at work. His boss has, in fact, made him the company's attendance standard.
"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!," said Schain Mold & Engineering Plant Manager Todd Wilson.
Robertson's story inspired Evan Leedy, a 19-year old student at Wayne State University, to set up a campaign at GoFundMe to raise $5,000 and get Robertson a new car. People were generous and touched enough by Robertson's story than in just an hour, the campaign raised $2,000. To date, the amount raised by the campaign has surpassed $225,000. With it's success, Robertson has asked for a board to help advise him on what to do with the funds, Leedy wrote in an update.
"At the beginning, my goal was just $5,000. I just wanted to get him a car to get back and forth to work, but thanks to everyone's generous donations, this is skyrocketed into more than just a car," Leedy wrote. "Every penny will help James in any way that he needs it."