This young man raised about $190,000 to ensure that the elderly Walmart employee could retire without going hungry. Congratulations, sir!
A TikToker donated $186,000 for an 81-year-old Walmart employee to pay off her mortgage and eventually retire after 20 years with the retail giant.
Devan Bonagura, 19, of New Jersey, went popular earlier this month after posting a video of Nola Carpenter sitting in the break room during her shift at the Hackettstown Walmart.
‘Life shouldn’t be this difficult,’ he remarked in on-screen writing.
Since it was posted on November 2, the heartbreaking video has been viewed over 30 million times.
The tremendous response from commenters prompted Bonagura to launch a GoFundMe campaign to fund Carpenter’s retireme
Bonagura then clarified that while he filmed Carpenter in the break room, he was working for a third-party vendor that sells phones inside Walmart.
In a subsequent video, he said that a store manager ordered him to remove both the viral video and the fundraising he set up for her because the chain was receiving threats.
‘They’re receiving a lot of blowback, so they told me I have to erase the video, delete the GoFundMe, and refund all the money to the individuals who donated it, or they’d call the cops,’ he explained.
‘So I instructed them to do whatever they had to do because I was going to get this money to this woman one way or another.’
Bonagura claimed that his employer suspended him with pay, but it was worth it because he raised more than $100,000 for Carpenter in just 24 hours.
When he surprised her with the money a few days later, the GoFundMe had reached $110,000. Carpenter expressed her appreciation for the donations, claiming they will help her mortgage be ‘way down.’
However, it was insufficient for her to retire.
‘I’d accept it,’ she told Bonagura, ‘but I’d still have to work till I paid off the remaining $60,000 on the house.’
Walmart’s average hourly compensation is around $17, implying that she would need to labour for several years to pay off her mortgage completely.
When the GoFundMe campaign raised $181,000, which was more than Carpenter needed to retire, Bonagura shot another update with her. (At the time of publication, the total had risen to $186,653 from 13,500 contributions.)
‘I feel fantastic, and I’m grateful to Devan for what he’s done because without him, none of this would be possible,’ she said. ‘That’s why I was working at Walmart: to pay off my mortgage.’
Carpenter revealed that she will work for Walmart during the busy holiday season before retiring in early 2023.
‘I’m going to retire entirely on January 1st,’ she added. ‘I’m going to assist them throughout the holidays.’
She will miss seeing her regular clients after working at the store for the past 20 years.
‘Every day, they look for me,’ she explained.