These days, senior citizens sometimes have to work well beyond the average age of retirement just to keep their heads above water financially.
Devan Bonagura is a 19-year-old from New Jersey who works for a vendor that sells phones inside Walmart stores. He was working at the Hackettstown, New Jersey store when he spotted an elderly Walmart employee named Nola sitting in the break room. She looked so downtrodden, he took a video and added it to his TikTok page.
“Life shouldn’t b this hard,” he captioned the clip.
Nearly 20 million people have viewed Devan’s video, and many of the 39,000 comments demanded he do something to help the sad-looking lady in the clip. At their prompting, Devan started a GoFundMe for Nola, and within 24 hours he’d already raised over $100,000!
Once the donations hit $110,000, Devan spoke with Nola’s granddaughter, who told her grandmother about the internet’s good deed. She did her due diligence to make sure the GoFundMe was legitimate, and then drove Nola to meet Devan to hear the good news in person.
“They saw that you’re a very hard worker, obviously,” Devan told her. “We are all super proud of you, and we wanted to offer you the $110,000 that has been raised for you.”
Devan was ecstatic to be able to help Nola, who confided that she was only working at Walmart throughout her Golden Years because she needs to pay off the mortgage on her home. When Devan told her how much he’d raised, she was delighted… but a little down because the amount wouldn’t quite meet the $170,000 she owes.
“I’d accept it, but I’d still have to work until I get the other $60,000 paid off the house,” Nola told him,
That was all it took for Devan’s audience! After he uploaded the latest video, even more people opened their wallets to help Nola. Her GoFundMe shot up above the figured she named to pay off her mortgage, and well above the initial goal of $10,000!
Now that Nola can finally retire, Devan met with her in her home to close the book on this act of kindness. Nola says she’ll miss her Walmart customers, but she’s incredibly thankful to Devan and all of the people who donated to pay off her home.
“I’m going to completely retire the first of the year,” she told him. “I’m going to help them out for the holidays, and then it’ll be good to stay home.”
Devan says he got some push-back from Walmart over the TikTok video, but he’s convinced he did the right thing by shedding light on Nola’s situation. We wish we could do this for every senior who’s struggling to make ends meet!
Share this story to thank Devan for caring — and for doing something to help!
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