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Detroit Man's 21-Mile Commute Inspires Hundreds to Donate

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Detroit Man's 21-Mile Commute is an All-Day Effort

    (Published Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015)

    A factory worker in Detroit whose staggering 21-mile daily commute went viral is now getting some help.

    James Robertson, 56, has been making the trek to and from his job since his car broke down nearly a decade ago, NBC affiliate WDIV-TV. Despite the lengthy commute, he has never missed a day of work.

    "I didn't want to end up doing nothing. Do you know how long it took me to find this job?" Robertson told "Today." "No matter how tough things are, I like to stick it out."

    Robertson's shift starts at 2 p.m. and concludes at 10 p.m., though he usually makes it home around 4 a.m., WDIV-TV reported. He is able to sleep for a few hours before rising again at 6 a.m. A portion of Robertson's journey includes a bus ride, but a large portion is done by foot. 

    However, an online fundraiser started by a college student may give Robertson a lot more free time.

    Evan Leedy, 19, who attends Wayne State University, read about Robertson on Facebook and set up a GoFundMe page to give him some money towards a new car, “Today” reported.

    Although Leedy’s initial fundraising goal was $5,000, donations had surpassed $195,000 by Tuesday evening.

    “One of the coolest things to see is that there’s been a few large donations, but 90 percent of the donations have been $50 or less,” Leedy said to “Today.” “There have been over 2,000 donors, and all of that has added up. All it took was a little bit of money from all these people.”

    Robertson’s girlfriend said that they were both grateful for the help from so many strangers.

    "We’re both elated and he’s overwhelmed. He didn’t think something like this would even happen to him,” Tanya Fox said to "Today."