Detroit man’s daily trek to work inspires hundreds to donate


DETROIT- A man who walks around 21 miles to get to and from work is getting some help.

An online effort has raised nearly $150,000 to get 56-year-old James Robertson off his feet.

Robertson says his commute is physically and mentally grueling.

“You have to really gear yourself up to do it.”

Buses don’t cover his entire 23 mile route to work, so Robertson’s forced to fill in the gaps.

He walks about 21 miles a day, and has been doing it five days a week since his car quit on him in 2005.

“I do it with no excuses.”

In order to make his 2 p.m.- 10 p.m. shift, Robertson says he leaves his Detroit home at 8 a.m. He walks about eight miles to work, and about 13 miles home.

He works as an injection molder at a factory in suburban Detroit, and hasn’t missed a day of work in 12 years.

“How I do the job, that’s when the real battle is won.”

His story of perseverance was featured in the Detroit Free Press, and inspired Evan Leedy, of suburban Detroit, to get involved.

Leedy, a junior at Wayne State University, set up a GoFundMe page with a small goal in mind.

“Maybe if someone even donates $500 bucks, that’s $500 dollars in bus fares,” said Leedy.

The two men met for the first time on Monday at a restaurant in downtown Detroit.

Of the six figures raised, most have come in small amounts.

“Most of the donations have been $20-25 bucks,” said Leedy. “I’ve had a lot of people comment and say, you know, ‘this is all I have, I wish I could give more.'”

While Robertson says faith has kept him going, the kindness of strangers, and his deep connection to Detroit have now lifted him up.

Click here if you’d like to donate to Robertson’s cause.

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